6 Mar 2019

Female Authors for International Women's Day

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International Women’s Day is about celebrating women’s achievement, raising awareness against gender bias and taking action for equality. There are many ways to can acknowledge the day, but one of our favourites it to read a book by a female author.

This may seem like a small feat, but did you know that 60% of people who can’t read are women? And those who are writing often find their books are not reviewed to the extent as their male counterparts. Among authors reviewed at The New York Review of Books, 83% are men (306 compared to 59 women and 306 men), and the same statistic is true of reviewers (200 men, 39 women), and much has been written about the gender-inequality when it comes to awards such as the Man Booker Prize

Reading a book by a female author has an impact, so to give you a bit of inspiration we’ve come up with a list of our favourite writers and a book suggestion. 

 womens Day

‘Kaitangata Twitch’ by Margaret Mahy. A wonderful Young Adult book set in Kaitangata, an island with a rocky fist punching skywards. Kaitangata seems to have a will of its own, and a voice, though only Meredith can hear it. Can Meredith save the island from an unscrupulous developer? Kaitangata Twitch is an engaging family story and a spellbinding supernatural thriller.

‘The Anger of Angels’ by Sheryl Jordan. Words hold a terrible power. They can break a heart, or give it a reason to live. They can grant freedom or begin a war. In a world where it is a crime to speak against injustice, a jester dares to perform a play that enrages a powerful tyrant prince. The jester’s daughter, Giovanna, must journey into the heart of danger to turn back the terrible consequences unleashed by her father’s words and becomes entangled in a treacherous plot to overthrow the prince.  

‘Dunger’ by Jow Cowley. William and Melissa have been roped into helping their weird grandparents fix up their holiday home in the country. How will they cope with no electricity, no mobile phone reception and only each other for company? 

Juno Series by Fleaur Beale  Set on the not-too-distant future, Juno lives on Taris, a bubble-covered island in the Pacific, to which a select few hundred people were evacuated when Earth's inhabitants took everything just a bit too far and began to self-destruct. On Taris there are many rules governing appearance, behaviour, even procreation ... but all are for the good of the community, to ensure the survival of humankind? 

‘Terrier’ by Tamora Pierce. A young adult fantasy novel by Tamora Pierce, the first book in the Provost's Dog trilogy. Set in Tortall and following Beka Cooper - a fierce young woman who fights crime in a world of magic. This is the beginning of her story, her legend, and her legacy 

‘Penelopiad’ by Margaret Atwood. While we love ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ it's worrht checking out Atwood's other books. A fantastic contemporary twist to The Odyssey, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her twelve hanged maids, asking: “What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?” 

‘A Little Life’ by  Hanya Yanagihara. When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. 

‘The Mother of All Questions’ by Rebecca Slonit. A collection of essays in which Rebecca Solnit opens up a feminism for all of us. She mixes humor, keen analysis, and powerful insight and gives indispensable commentary on women who refuse to be silenced, misogynistic violence, the fragile masculinity of the literary canon, the gender binary, the recent history of rape jokes, and much more. 

‘Dear Ijeawele’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Fifteen invaluable suggestions on how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can "allow" women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century.

‘Women and Power: a manifesto’ by Mary Beard. Britain's best-known classicist Mary Beard, is also a committed and vocal feminist. With wry wit, she revisits the gender agenda and shows how history has treated powerful women. Her examples range from the classical world to the modern day, from Medusa and Athena to Theresa May and Hillary Clinton.  

‘Barkskins’ by Annie Proulx In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years - their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions; the revenge of rivals; accidents; pestilence; Indian attacks; and cultural annihilation.  

‘The Poisonwood Bible’ by Barbara Kingsolver. This story is told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil.

‘The Rehearsal’ by Elanor Catton. A high-school sex scandal jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own potency and power. The sudden and total publicity seems to turn every act into a performance, and every platform into a stage. But when the local drama school decides to turn the scandal into a show, the real world and the world of the theatre are forced to meet, and soon the boundaries between private and public begin to dissolve