FEMINIST READING LIST: Staying Strong Through Trial
So this Fall, I have the choice of reading any one out of these three book for a class. Alas, I won’t have time to read all at the moment (maybe during Winter Break), but I encourage anyone who has a little bit of free time to read up on the stories of these women facing hardship, adversity, and trial. I can’t remember if all of them are based on a true story, but I know A Woman in Berlin is.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Kahaled Hosseini(2007)
“This book tells the dramatic story of an unlikely friendship between two women, Mariam and Laila, who are married to the same man. The story takes us through each of their lives before the Russians enter Afghanistan, into the horrible years of Taliban rule, and beyond. Watching these women grow in their relationship, we are given a picture of what it has meant to be a woman in Afghanistan during the last four decades. The novel lifts the veil of these women and shows the reader the female face of Afghanistan’s population.” -Amazon
A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in Conquered City: A Diary by Anonymous (2006)
“For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. "With bald honesty and brutal lyricism” (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. “Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity” (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject–the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity.“ -Publisher Weekly
NOTE: This is the book that I decided to read for my class and my teacher did warn us that this was the hardest of the three to read because what does war mean for women? Rape.
The Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama
"When Pei Chung is eight years old, her father leaves her at the house of Auntie Yee so that she can work in the silk factory. Her grief at the unexplained abandonment is softened by the kindness of Yee and the other girls, and slowly she begins to thrive in her new independence. The friendship between Pei and Lin, who is the support of her once wealthy and powerful family, is forged with the lives of the silk workers who begin to demand better conditions. The China of 1919-1938, when the Japanese threat became a reality, is woven into the threads of factory life and that of families faced with ruin. The characters are drawn with fine detail. Small village life contrasts vividly with an exciting visit to Canton, and ceremonies are exquisitely described. This fascinating story is beautifully written and slightly reminiscent of Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth” -School Library Journal
Like I said, I encourage EVERYONE to read these books. It’s certainly important to include and read stories about a strong female heroines in a fictional setting (Hi, Katniss), but it’s also important to read about strong women, especially those who live in different cultures, in a realistic fictional/non-fiction setting as well. If anyone would like to submit a suggested reading or book, PM me!
Some authors and books about feminism? I love your blog
Thank you. So, bibliochor and days-of-reading both put great rec lists together a few weeks ago, so I suggest checking those out, respectively here and here. There is some overlap, but considering we all study in different places and have been exposed to feminism in different ways, I’m making another list (slightly more and slightly less extensive in parts). I haven’t read everything on here in full (and there are a few that I haven’t read at all but that are high up on my to-do list), and I don’t align myself with all of the views, but I think it’s important to be familiar with a wide variety of feminisms to be able to put your own stance together.
So, I’m including classic texts, crit, theory, literature, and pop-culture lit. If you’re new to theory, I’d suggest jumping straight to the novels or the pop-culture non-fiction books as they make you think about specific theories and question the world, and then going back to the other texts.
Second Wave Theoretical and Critical Texts: (Again, warning: these can be radical, difficult, and unsettling to read – especially if you haven’t read feminist theory before, but they are eye-opening and extremely important to understand as they began to shape the feminist movement into what it is today.)
“Third Wave”/Late Late End of Second Wave: (This is basically just Butler, and again, if you aren’t familiar with theory, then I’d maybe stay away because Gender Trouble is a crucial text, but reading Butler is challenging.)
“Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory,” Judith Butler
Feminist Novels & Poetry (I’m picking one work by each of these authors, but in most cases, their other works are worth checking out as well.) (Also worth noting that while some of these may not have necessarily been written with feminist intent, they are important to read in a feminist context.)
Fellow readers and bookish friends!! I am sad to report that college has poisoned my love for reading; however I refuse to let it die!!! I am determined to get back into reading for pleasure, and I am turning to my fellow readers for recommendations!
I generally read YA, fiction, and fantasy/sci-fi, but I am open to all genres!! Particular interests include (but aren’t limited to)
~New age spirituality
~Anything “witchy” (fiction or non-fiction!)
Feminist novels (including feminist theory)
~Graphic novels (I have essentially no experience here!! I love Wonder Woman and Doctor Strange, and I’m open to giving anything a try!!!)
I am currently reading Witch: Unleashed, Untamed, Unapologetic by Lisa Lister, and I have Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult on the back burner! I am also waiting for How to be A Woman by Caitlin Moran, Rain of Gold by Victor Villaseñor, Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan, and Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates to arrive in the mail!
I am so excited for all your recommendations, thank you all in advanced!!! Sending light and love your way! Blessed be!
ok so due to a whole multitude of things (I’m strongly considering becoming a sexuality educator and doing a post grad in sexology sooo) my tbr shelf on goodreads just got very sex and feminism focussed so I thought I’d throw then into a list on here
- Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski (NF, the science of sex and the female brain)
- Bonk - The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach (NF, there is a theme here but I’ve heard this is very science heavy and funny)
- Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf (NF, mixed reviews but we’ll see)
- Perv: The Sexual Deviant In All Of Us by Jesse Bering (NF, kinda hoping this is The Little Death in book form bc that movie is Australian gold and I will never be over the Skype sex scene)
- All The Rage by Courtney Summers (F, tw: rape, seems like it’s a if you enjoyed Asking For It.. kinda vibe)
now for the graphic novels because I’m trying to get into those.
Take It As A Compliment by Maria Stoian - (I think the title is self explanatory but I’ve heard such great things about this and it’ll probably be what I read first)
The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci - (arty girl gang? sign me up)
Giant Days by John Allison - (YA and I aren’t having a good relationship at the moment but this seemed coming of age in a new adult kinda way)
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes - (coming of age but without a best friend by your side, you sure this isn’t about me?)
Now, am I brave enough to read those first ones on the train?
‘Tis the season to give books - and we’ve got a list of suggestions for juuuust about everyone. Here’s a masterpost of our gift guides! (Note: we’ll be adding links as new lists go up every day - so if you’re seeing someone’s reblog of this and want to know if a particular list is up yet, click through to our original post!)
That post about India makes me so mad, because it completely erases the history of the feminist movement in India. Better than Wikipedia tho, are: History of Doing' by Radha Kumar, chronicling the women's movement in India between the 1800 & 1990s. Uma Chakravarti's Gendering Caste, Anything by Sharmila Rege on Dalit Feminism, Gautam Bhan-Queer Politics in India, Seeing like a Feminist by Nivedita Menon, Women's Studies in India ed. Mary John. I could go on.