Reading Library

Fiction

  • The Awakening, by Kate Chopin - A short novel about a Southern woman with unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood viewed as a landmark work of early feminism.
  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison - A Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the emotional and familial devastation caused by slavery set in post-Civil War America.
  • The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison - Written when Morrison was teaching at Howard University, the novel is about a tortured year in the life of a young girl in Ohio struggling with an inferiority complex about being black.
  • Collected Poems of Audre Lorde, by Audre Lorde - A collection of political and non-political poetry by Audre Lorde, a radical feminist thinker.
  • A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen - A play about a woman striving to find herself amidst 19th-century marriage and gender norms.
  • The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin - A science fiction novel regarding the development of an instantaneous communications device in a fictional universe. If you are interested in science fiction and/or fantasy, le Guin has written a number of respected works in this genre.
  • The Edible Woman, by Margaret Atwood - A novel about a woman who feels detached from reality and from herself following her engagement, and who begins identifying with food and becomes unable to eat.
  • For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf, by Ntosake Shange - An experimental series of poems about obstacles faced by black women throughout their lives, including love, abandonment, domestic violence, poetry, and rape.
  • The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood - A dystopian novel about reproductive politics set in a theocratic dictatorship of the future.
  • The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton - A novel set in turn-of-the-century New York about wealth, social hypocrisy, and prescribed gender roles.
  • The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros - A coming-of-age novel about a young Latina growing up in a poor neighborhood in Chicago written in vignettes
  • Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi - A graphic autobiographical novel about growing up in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution.
  • The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant - A fictional retelling of the Biblical story of Dinah, giving Dinah a voice of her own.
  • Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson - A novel about the assault and recovery of a high school survivor of rape.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston - A novel about the life of a woman in central south Florida during the early 20th Century. One of TIME's top 100 English-language novels.
  • The Thing Around Your Neck, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche - A short story collection by a Nigerian author featuring stories set both in Africa and the United States.
  • Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, by Sandra Cisneros - A short story collection about the experiences of women of Mexican heritage negotiating American influences in their lives.

 

Nonfiction

  • Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, by bell hooks - An examination of the combined effects of racism and sexism on black women, the civil rights movement, and feminist movements in the United States.
  • Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks - An analysis of feminist politics and theory of genuinely feminist politics.
  • Gender Trouble, by Judith Butler - A work on gender identity feminism, and intersectionality viewed as some of the first work in queer theory.
  • I Am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings of Audre Lorde - A collection of writings by Audre Lorde, a poet and radical feminist.
  • Sex, Power and Consent: Youth Culture and the Unwritten Rules, by Anastasia Powell - A discussion of real-life experiences of young women and men negotiating love, sex, relationships, and consent.
  • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, by Audre Lorde - A collection of writings by feminist writer Audre Lorde on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class.
  • This Bridge Called My Back, edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa - An anthology of writings by feminist women of color viewed as the first major work of third-wave feminism.
  • Women, Race & Class, by Angela Davis - A study of the women's movement in the United States from the 1860s-present day that documents the racist and classist biases of the movement's leaders.
  • Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape, by Jaclyn Friedman & Jessica Valenti - A work on shifting the paradigm from “no means no” to positive consent, featuring a variety of perspectives on female sexuality and pleasure and on violence prevention.