The feminization of publishing and of literary fiction across the world has seen a shift in the overall gender ratio.
We are quickly closing the extreme gender bias and reaching a parity: from a period George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) and Currer Bell (Charlotte Bronte) were writing under a pseudonym to Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood and in the Indian context Mahaswetadevi being more proactive in voicing out the plights of women in their writing.
On International Women’s Day, with the theme of #balanceisbetter, Crossword Bookstores recommends 8 books, written by women, spanning across the genres of historical fiction, domestic fiction, war fiction, romance, self-help, crime, dystopia and autobiographies.
1. I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai
A real life story of a girl who was shot down by the Taliban in Swat (Pakistan), because of her proactive role in educating girls. The book is about her journey of recovery and the continuation of her task of creating a better future for women.
2. Cross Connection by Seema Punwani
So what if you are a divorced? Sama, the protagonist in Cross Connection, fights through the odds of finding love a second time, while balancing work, family and a social life. Cross Connection smashes the idealistic rom-com books, bringing in the realistic aspects of dating while keeping the hopes of the readers intact.
3. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
In a totalitarian state, Atwood through perfect strategy, brings to light the atrocities faced by women to the extent that their identity is dominated by the men.
4. Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The voices of the women in Indian mythology have never been heard before as in The Palace of Illusions. Draupadi’s perspective provides a perspective of the Mahabharata which generations of readers have ignored under the patriarchal set-up.
5. Re-script Your Life by Reeta Gupta
‘Whether you’re a professional, a student, a homemaker or an entrepreneur, you can rescript your thoughts to rescript your life.’ Reeta Gupta, through her own experiences, provides a five-point plan to the readers to change their lives for the better.
6. Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
With Sita at the center, Divakaruni’s book is a powerful comment on the struggle of women including Kaikeyi, Surpanakha and Mandodari, to maintain autonomy in a world dominated by men.
7. In Death series by J.D Robb
The In Death series by Nora Roberts is a series of crime fiction written with a strong female lead who breaks stereotypes of detectives being only men and who fights the perpetrators when circumstances demand.
8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
A coming of age story of Jane who faces the hardships of her childhood and struggles to become independent. She doesn’t let romance come in the way of her goals thereby maintaining her morals, ethics and stature as a woman.