Feminist Memoirs to Read this Winter
Sometimes it can be easy to forget that reading is not just the act of last-minute cramming 400 pages of Hobbes or Marx. This winter break, find some time in your schedule to read books that will inspire you, make you laugh, teach you about life and politics in the present day (and not 300 years ago), and most importantly, give you something to be happy about! For me, this takes shape through memoirs written by some of my favorite feminists. Here are my suggestions:
Michelle Obama's Becoming
Obviously. Becoming is one of the best books I have ever read. Michelle Obama's memoir follows her life from childhood in the South Side all the way through her life post-White House. Each sentence is filled with meaning and is beautifully composed, providing insight on growth and transformation, the state of American politics and community, race in Chicago, and what it means to be a woman. I cannot recommend this book more.
Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Simultaneously hilarious and so relatable, reading Mindy Kaling's memoir feels like you're talking to your best friend or wise-but-funny sister. With chapters ranging from unfortunate anecdotes in middle school to discussions on developing her career, I re-read this book whenever I want to laugh, lift my mood, and remind myself that everything will be ok–given that Mindy was a self-proclaimed "terrible intern," endured countless, relatable, embarrassing moments, and still ended up as a successful writer and actor. All things considered, I feel like I can have hope for my future!
Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle reads more like a novel, with incredibly beautiful, detailed descriptions of Jeannette moving through childhood and into adulthood. Growing up, she and her siblings learned to take care of themselves as they moved from state to state with their free-spirited, often unemployed parents. Jeanette goes on to receive an elite education and work as a journalist, while her parents remain homeless. A story filled with trauma, but also many moments of beauty, nostalgia, and resilience.
Angela Davis' An Autobiography
A funny and wise account of Davis' life, experiences and the important people that influenced her future as a political activist. In her autobiography, Davis shares an important account of race and politics in 1972, which stills feels necessary and relevant to read in today’s turbulent times.
Get reading! Whether you want to feel politically charged, inspired to overcome personal obstacles, or just want to laugh and relate with a badass woman, these are all great options to distract you from your post-finals lull.
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