February 20, 2017
March is National Women’s History Month. As part of an ongoing series to celebrate the women who represent many diverse backgrounds, consistently challenge the status quo and break barriers in an effort to promote equality, we are spotlighting and celebrating women who have made a mark on their respective fields.
March is National Woman’s History Month. Even though there are eleven other months during the year in which women deserve to be celebrated, we can use this month as a lens to highlight impactful women across all practices —and today, I’m sharing some of my favorite female authors. Many of our most exciting contemporary writers are expanding and defining our understanding of what it means to be a woman in the modern world. Here are some essential voices that should not be ignored.
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
This memoir won the Samuel Johnson Prize and Costa Book of the Year awards. It’s the story of the year she spent training a goshawk in the wake of her father’s death as a coping mechanism for her grief. It’s a shadow biography of T.H. White, the English author best known for his Arthurian novels The Once and Future King and The Sword in the Stone. It’s a collection of insightful and delicate nature writings. It’s an academic dissertation on the early history of falconry. It’s a beautiful book on loss, identity, and the discovery of “the pain and beauty of being alive.”
Future Sex: A New Kind of Free Love by Emily Witt
Emily Witt is an American investigative journalist, and her new book focuses on modern dating from the feminine perspective. Future Sex is a collection of essays linked by style and topic that explores “Internet dating, polyamory, and avant-garde sexual subculture” with an open mind and honest tone. Witt playfully blends personal writing with social analysis of the contemporary pursuit of connection and love.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A Nigerian novelist, nonfiction writer and short story writer, Adichie is a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient who’s been heralded as a critically acclaimed young feminist, and her third book, Americanah, won the National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction. The book is a powerful story of race and gender centered around Ifemelu, whose decision to depart Nigeria for an American University forces her to grapple with her identity as a black woman and face “difficult choices and challenges, suffer defeats and triumphs, find and lose relationships, and eventually achieve success as the writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America.” Adichie’s novel is a must-read for our times, and while you’re at it, check out her TEDx Talk about why “we should all be feminists.”