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The Women’s History Month reading list

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Women’s History Month is about celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of women both present day and throughout history.

Literature is an area where women have made significant contributions to culture. In both the areas of fiction and nonfiction, women authors have used words to shine a light on issues of race, gender, sexuality, and womanhood.

Here is a recommended reading list to get you acquainted with some phenomenal women authors.

  1. Toni Morrison – “The Bluest Eye“: Toni Morrison is a national treasure. She has won both a Pulitzer and a Nobel Prize for her literary work. “The Bluest Eye” is her first novel, and it is the best introduction to her work that anyone can get. It touches on issues of race, identity, and poverty while telling the story of Pecola Breedlove, a girl whose life is filled with trouble.
  2. April Sinclair – “Coffee Will Make You Black“: April Sinclair does not have a large library of work, but what she lacks in quantity, she more than makes up for in quality. “Coffee Will Make You Black” is a coming of age story set in 1960’s Chicago that touches on issues of race, gender, and sexuality.
  3. Simone de Beauvoir – “The Second Sex“: If ever there was a primer on feminist philosophy, this is it. Giving a thorough examination of the treatment (and oppression) of women throughout the ages, this book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand why it is important to celebrate women in all their glory.
  4. Elizabeth Wurtzel – “Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women“: Although Wurtzel is known for her book “Prozac Nation” (also a worthy read) and the subsequent movie, it is “Bitch” that shows us her writing chops. Wurtzel takes on the topic of women who have been categorized as bitches throughout history, using the topic to analyze gender relations in modern times. The book covers a diverse collection of women including the biblical character Delilah, Yoko Ono, Courtney Love, and Sally Hemmings.
  5. Octavia Butler – “Kindred“: I saved the best for last. I highly recommend reading as much Octavia Butler as you can. She is one of few black women writers who is featured prominently in the science fiction and fantasy genres. Butler uses her craft to weave together tales that are intriguing lessons in womanhood, race relations, humanity, gender, and sexuality. “Kindred” is the story of a modern-day black woman who is transported back to slavery times. Her adventures in the future and the past will keep you captivated and unable to put the book down.

This list is by no means comprehensive. There are a great many more writers I could recommend including Zora Neale Hurston, ZZ Packer, Zadie Smith, Alice Walker, bell hooks, Toni Cade Bambara, and JK Rowling.

I’d like to hear from you. Who do you suggest we read during Women’s History Month?

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About the Writer
Monique Judge, Staff Writer

Monique Judge is returning to "The Union" after a three-semester hiatus during which she began the Mass Communications and Media Studies program at Arizona...

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The Women’s History Month reading list