“Nevertheless, She Persisted”: Celebrating Women’s History with Literature

Photo of the book "Like Water for Chocolate"Did you know that only 30 out of the 93 winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction have been women? The Nobel Prize for Literature has an even more disparaging history: only 16 of the 117 laureates have been women! An important part of celebrating women’s history is recognizing these wonderful women who have beaten such extraordinary odds; therefore, as part of our Women’s History Month display, we have included four award-winning female authors in our display–three winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout and A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley) and one laureate for the Nobel Prize in Literature (The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing).

These novels can be found in a section of our display, entitled She Has A Name, which highlights fictional novels with intriguing, multi-dimensional female protagonists. Here you can also find books like Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, a fantasy novel where a brave girl must defeat a powerful monarch and restore hope in her community, and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, a romantic tale of forbidden love and the constraints of tradition on a persevering young woman.

 

Photo of the book displayOur display also includes a section, entitled Nevertheless, She Persisted, where we center stories, essays and theories on feminism and the female experience. Here we have included, among other incredible books, inspiring and insightful memoirs from Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala), Janet Mock (Redefining Realness), Maxine Hong Kingston (The Woman Warrior) and Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road), as well as collections of stories by Roxane Gay (Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture) and Leila Aboulela (Elsewhere, Home) which shine a light on the struggles that women face daily.

Explore diverse perspectives on feminism and womanhood, become inspired by strong female protagonists, and increase your knowledge on women’s issues by traversing through the amazing titles featured in our display

— Zaria Ford & Jaedyn Griddine, Oxford College Library Student Employees