Women’s Rage and Women’s Hope

2018 has, unsurprisingly, ushered in the publication of a myriad of excellent books on women’s experiences and women’s rage. Here’s a roundup of some of this year’s most intriguing feminist titles. (CW for descriptions of books that discuss sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and other tactics used to oppress women.)

NONFICTION

Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya L Chemaly | “A new, conversation-shifting book that encourages women to own their anger and use it as a tool for positive change, written by one of today’s most influential feminist thinkers.”

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper | “In the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep fighting.”

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jerkins | “Morgan Jerkins’ highly-anticipated collection of linked essays interweaves her incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a black woman today.”

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Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay | “In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face.”

Firebrand Feminism: The Radical Lives of Ti-Grace Atkinson, Kathie Sarachild, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and Dana Densmore by Breanne Fahs | “Bring[ing] together ten years of dialogue with four founders of the radical feminist movement… this unique and provocative book unites second- and third-wave feminism and creates a much-needed inter-generational dialogue about the utility of feminist rage, the importance of refusal, the changing politics of sex and love, trans rights, and tactics to start (and continue) a revolution.”

All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World–Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom edited by Deborah Santana | “Documenting the experiences of women of color at the dawn of the twenty-first century, [this anthology] is a vital collection of of prose and poetry whose topics range from the pressures of being the vice-president of a Fortune 500 Company, to escaping the killing fields of Cambodia, to the struggles inside immigration, identity, romance, and self-worth.”

Everything by Rebecca Solnit

POETRY, FICTION, and GRAPHIC NOVELS

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough | “In Renaissance Italy, Atemisia Gentileschi endures the subjugation of women that allows her father to take credit for her extraordinary paintings, rape and the ensuing trial, and torture, buoyed by her deceased mother’s stories of strong women of the Bible.”

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman | “In the medieval kingdom of Goredd… Tess’s family decides the only path for her is a nunnery, [but] she chooses a different path for herself. She cuts her hair, pulls on her boots, and sets out on a journey. The open road is a map to somewhere else–a life where she might belong.” (Side note: for a better feel of this book, read this NPR review)

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Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism edited by Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan | “Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight against racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets.”

Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal | “When a birth defect wipes out the planet’s entire population of men, Woman World rises out of society’s ashes. Only Grandma remembers the distant past, a civilization of segway-riding mall cops, Blockbuster movie rental shops, and “That’s What She Said” jokes. For the most part, Woman World’s residents are focused on their struggles with unrequited love and anxiety, not to mention that whole “survival of humanity” thing.”

What are your favorite feminist books? Share your recommendations in the comments! ¤

By Kazia, WFPL Children’s Librarian

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