In math and science, literature and art, in every field imaginable and in every era, women have been shaping history. Too often, the achievements of women from Ada Lovelace to Bessie Coleman are shoved under the rug, hidden from the history books and credited to men. In a time when women (especially women of color) are still underpaid and underrepresented, even the toughest of the tough need a reminder that anything is possible.
In honor of their spectacular accomplishments and important histories, we’re featuring a round-up of books celebrating women all around the globe. From prose-poetry depicting a magical island of matriarchy to a feminist alphabet book (for you and your kids), there’s sure to be something for everyone in this week’s Bookslinger!
Why Women Need Quotas (Biteback Publishing), by Vicky Price, is a hard-hitting argument for socioeconomic gender equality in the United Kingdom. According to Price, an economist, the United Kingdom has a poor record on gender parity, both in Parliament and in business, where most companies are run by men. The United States and Scandinavian countries have quotas for women in top jobs, but it’s time to take the change to Britain and get tough on sexism.
Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home (Arsenal Pulp Press), by Leah L. Piepzna-Samarasinha, is an intersectional, tragicomic memoir told with wild abandon. It tells the story of Piepzna-Samarasinha, a queer disabled brown femme poet and abuse survivor, as she navigates the dirty river of the past and, as the subtitle suggests, “dreams her way home.”
The Feminist Utopia Project: Fifty-Seven Visions of a Wildly Better Future (The Feminist Press at CUNY), edited by Alexandra Brodsky and Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, is a groundbreaking collection of essays, interviews, poetry, illustrations, short stories, and more. Over fifty cutting-edge voices, including Melissa Harris-Perry, Janet Mock, Sheila Heti, and Mia McKenzie, invite us to imagine: what does a truly feminist world mean?
Men Explain Things to Me (Haymarket Books) is the critically-acclaimed essay collection from Rebecca Solnit, including the title essay (first published in the L.A. Times) which went viral, spawning fierce arguments and coining the term “mansplaining.” In this book, Solnit takes on the conversations between men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t. With scathing wit, she elaborates and uncovers why men still explain things to her.
African American Women (GILES), a collection of photographs from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, with a foreword by Lonnie G Bunch, is the third book in the NMAAHC’s “Double Exposure” series. This volume contains stunning photographs which demonstrate the dignity, joy, heartbreak, commitment, and sacrifice of women of all ages and backgrounds, from midwives at work in the rural south to students jailed for civil rights protests.
Almond Garden: Portraits from the Women’s Prisons in Afghanistan (Daylight Books) is a collection of photographs paying homage to women prisoners in Afghanistan and exploring the corruption in the country’s prison system. Over four years, photographer Gabriela Maj traveled across the country collecting portraits and stories. Almond Garden is a “reassuring portrait of the resilience of these powerful women,” according to Vice UK.
Why God Is A Woman (BOA Editions, Ltd.) is a collection from celebrated prose poet Nin Andrews written about a magical island where women rule and men are the second sex. It is also the story of a boy who, exiled from the island because he could not abide by its sexist laws, looks back with both nostalgia and bitterness and wonders: Why does God have to be a woman? Andrews creates a world both fantastic and familiar where all the myths, logic, and institutions support the dominance of women.
Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History… and Our Future! (City Lights Publishers) by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, is a New York Times bestselling alphabet book of everyone’s favorite feminists. The list of great women spans several centuries, multiple professions, and 26 diverse individuals. Author Lemony Snicket raved, “This is not a book. This is a guest list for a party of my heroes. Thank you for inviting us.”
Find out where to buy Why Women Need Quotas, Dirty River, The Feminist Utopia Project, Men Explain Things to Me, African American Women, Almond Garden, Why God is a Woman, Rad American Women A-Z, and many more books here at the Consortium website.