I am an avid reader who reads almost anything I can get my hands on. Despite this,most books that capture my attention are ones by female authors. This is because for me relatability is paramount and I find this in works written by women. So here is a list of books I would recommend to any young woman.
1.We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“We should all be Feminists” is Chimamanda’s 2013 Ted Talk turned book. In the book she cites the most mundane experiences for women in the African context and points out institutionalized sexism.This changed my perspective to life in relation to my life as a young woman and opened my eyes to normalized sexist experiences.This is a brilliant short read for anyone who wishes to explore the concept of feminism.
Fun fact: Beyonce included this speech in her song “Flawless”.
2. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
This 1985 dystopian novel is about a future world where women are repressed, their reproductive rights revoked, forbidden to hold jobs or read and are constantly watched. The society presented in the book is one where all feministic gains have been erased and traditional gender roles reassumed. Like all dystopian novels,this book brings out your paranoia as sometimes the issues presented closely mirror current affairs. I would recommend this to anyone with a love for literary works of art and a bit of a pessimistic view towards life.
3.Black Milk:On Motherhood and Writing – Elif Shafak
This book by Elif Shafak, an award winning Turkish writer, largely talks about postpartum depression. She wrote the book while going through the little talked about disorder. She also beautifully tackles the struggles women face from the pressure to choose between starting families or dedicating their lives to their careers to the fact that as a female writer one is referred to as ‘female’ first then writer unlike their male counterparts. As young women we are often told we can not have it all. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a first hand narration of how it is to navigate career and ultimately motherhood in our societies as a female.
4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
In this 1989 biography Maya, a celebrated poet and author, recounts her experiences as a black girl growing up in post slavery America. She talks about racism, sexual abuse and her struggle with accepting her black features.I would recommend it to anyone who wants an insight of the experiences of black women, and in extension black people, in this period.
This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Garnet Achieng’.