To honor Women’s History Month, we decided to compile a list of a few of the best feminist books for you.
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them”.
Lifting the Veil by Ismat Chugtai
Ismat Chugtai wrote about women’s sexuality, openly and discussed the social problems faced by women. She wrote this at a time when writing about women was a rarity. Her book is one far ahead of her time and is a must read.
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
This extensive, scholarly study, written in 1946 by French existentialist novelist and feminist Simone de Beauvoir is a seminal text for 20th-century feminism.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel follows a young handmaid to a powerful commander, who is a lynchpin in a totalitarian Christian theocracy which has overthrown the United States government. Atwood’s words will affect you on a personal level and leave you haunted.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It’s an adaptation from her famous TED talk which you need to watch if you haven’t already. You can watch it here! It’s a short book that discusses the weight and stereotypes around the word “feminist” and why we should all identify ourselves as one.
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
This book is a great introduction to feminism by Woolf who has always been a feminist way ahead of her time.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The first of a series of autobiographies by Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is inspiring. Angelou’s years as a child up to the age of seventeen exemplifies the resilience of a strong human spirit and reading these experiences will truly inspire you.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar is a first person narrative about one woman’s total alienation – from the self, from society, from the world – with the cold war as a backdrop. It is a dark book because it shows how she doesn’t feel connected with the world around her.
An American Brat by Bapsi Sidhwa
An American Brat shows the reservations and nervousness experienced by various groups in Pakistan due the change from Bhutto’s liberal time to Zia’s conservative one.
Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie
Shamsie shows how complicated human relationships are – and how to make peace with dysfunctional relationships the way Asmaani does.
Apart from these books I would highly recommend the works of Parveen Shakir, Ishrat Afreen, Kishwar Naheed, and Fahmida Riaz to name just a few.
What are some feminist books that are a must read in your personal reading list?