Social Studies

Reading Roundup: Books to Highlight the Voices of Women

By Alex Lenkei — April 07, 2016 3 min read
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On the heels of Women’s History Month, our latest roundup focuses on recent news about women authors in books and publishing to keep you reading in April.


It’s no secret that women, especially women of color, have long been a minority in Western literature and publishing. Books by and about men still garner more awards than books by or about women, according to reporter Maddie Crum in a recent article in the Huffington Post. The 2015 VIDA Count shows that many of the leading literary magazines review more books written by men and commission more men than women to write about them. Further, only 14 women have won the Nobel Prize in Literature out of 112 total laureates since 1901.

The list of women authors who have written under male pseudonyms to combat publishing preference includes everyone from Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin (George Sand) and Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) to J.K. Rowling (Robert Galbraith). In 2015, author Catherine Nichols in a post on Jezebel described her experience of submitting her manuscript under a man’s name. (Spoiler alert: Of her 50 inquires, a third received responses under the name “George,” while she netted one response for every 25 letters under her own name.)

But many in the literary world are now turning their attention to publishing and reading diverse books, especially those by women. In recent years, #ReadWomen has become a prominent hashtag on Twitter encouraging people to choose books by women. The works of many female authors who were unrecognized during their lifetimes are now gaining broader attention, writes Anne Boyd Rioux, a professor at the University of New Orleans, in a recent piece for Salon. Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector and American short story writer Lucia Berlin, who both wrote during the 20th century, are two such authors who made bestseller lists in 2015.

Here are a few recent reading lists that caught our eye:

New March Reads Cover the Sexual Behavior of Teens and Social Media

Two recently released books tackle sexual relationships among teens and social media in the 21st century:

YA Author Remembered for “Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging”

Louise Rennison, the author of the best-selling YA novel Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, died at the age of 64. The novel launched the series The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, which gave voice to a young girl navigating the world. Rennison also wrote and performed a one-woman show, “Stevie Wonder Felt My Face,” about her life, London, and “what it was like being a girl.”

Photo by Alice Fest

A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.