Great Books by Inspiring Women Who Changed the World #IWD2014 #readwomen2014
+ “Walking with Comrades” by Arundhati Roy: A must read for anyone who loves Roy’s trademark, sardonic analysis and piercing descriptions.
+ “Between Two Worlds” (memoir) and “The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope” (photojournalism) by Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International.
+ “Mighty Be Our Powers” by Leymah Gbowee, who will give the keynote speech at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum this Sunday.
I first read Gbowee’s memoir back in 2011, when I was still living in San Francisco. It kept me up all night, that deviant paper rascal, my eyes watered and bedsheets tangled between my legs. While the book received a great deal of praise for its humanitarian message, I’d like to focus for a minute on its literary merit and craftsmanship.
Gbowee’s book dwells on the psychic spaces between the political and personal, strength and vulnerability, resilience and faith. “You have not heard it before because it is an African woman’s story and our stories are rarely told,” she writes. “I want you to hear mine.”
Her ability to see multiple angles of the same scene enhances the book’s introspective scope, swaddling her personal autobiography in the tangible context of regional history. She uses the same intimacy and ease when describing her personal life as she does when explaining psychological interplay between the Liberian public and warlords that brutalized the country during ten years of civil war...
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Do you have a favorite book about the true story of an inspiring woman? I’m always open to reading recommendations.