The "Me Too" movement, various recent news stories and the current political climate has re-emphasized the importance of women expressing their own stories in their own words. The following women authors provide first-hand accounts of their experiences, offering a unique analysis of themselves and the world around them.
Heather O'Neill's advice from her father in Wisdom in Nonsense: Invaluable Lessons from My Father may not be considered conventional, but it is certainly entertaining: Learn to play the tuba (there's a shortage of tuba players, so you'll always have work). Stay away from Paul Newman movies (or Paul Newman for that matter) at all costs! As you read through the lecture, a dynamic picture of her father evolves, describing an eccentric, if not flawed man whose views helped shape O'Neill's childhood. Funny and genuine, O'Neill deconstructs the impact of her father’s often absurd but well-intentioned advice, reflecting on how it has influence her perception of the world and her work.
Is it possible to be a 'gpod' feminist while having a penchant for bad pop songs and loving the colour pink? Is there even such a thing as a 'good' or 'bad' feminist? These questions are explored in Roxanne Gay's collection of essays where she addresses her own feminist contradictions while affirming her opinions on the misogyny, sexism, and inequality that women routinely face. Each essay describes her experiences in context to societal expectations, politics, popular culture and feminist literary criticism. These narratives are often funny, witty, self-depreciating, and sometimes deeply heartbreaking.
Dear Ijeawele, or, A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions is a 63 page letter by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, written to friend who has asked her how to raise her baby daughter as a feminist. Each suggestion expresses thoughtful advice on how to raise her daughter to be an independent woman, free of socially fabricated gender constraints. Drawing from her own experiences, perceptions, and Igbo culture, Ngozi encourages her friend to raise her baby girl to embrace creativity, curiosity, self-confidence, and gender equality.
Sloane Crosley's book of essays I Was Told There'd Be Cake describes her habitually clumsy attempts at trying to navigate grown-up expectations, responsibilities, and relationships. From her first grown-up job, failure at having a one-night stand, or a deep aversion at having to be a maid of honour, these often sardonic essays provide a lens into one woman’s experience of how she fits, or doesn’t fit, into the world.
In Plain Sight: Reflections on Life in Downtown Eastside Vancouver is a collection of stories written by seven women living in socio-economic disenfranchised conditions in the Vancouver East Side. Each story provides a first-hand narrative of these women's reality, exploring their relationships, family history, and diverse challenges as they navigate their lives. Deeply personal, these stories offer a stark view into the life of the storyteller, allowing the reader an opportunity to challenge their own stereotypes by reading stories which do not often have the chance to be told.
Looking for more women authors? Check out your local public library!