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International Women’s Day

By Michelle Ye, Nadia Shah and Yumna Iqbal


International Women’s Day is a key annual event celebrating women all around the world.  Here are some BIPOC authors/books that deserve to be celebrated! 


Sonia Shah


An Indian-American investigative journalist and author, Shah has written works around topics such as science, politics, human rights and more. A notable book she edited is Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire, a collection of essays that explores how mainstream feminism, particularly in the USA, is dominated by, and caters mostly to, white women. The book explores the perspectives of Asian women on a range of topics and explores how they fit into the feminist movement. Sonia is a must-know author.



Bernadine Evaristo


A renowned author and academic, Bernadine Evaristo is an author that everyone should know of. She is especially well-known for her novel Girl, Woman, Other, which was a joint winner of the Booker Prize 2019, making Evaristo the first Black woman to win the award. As well as this, Evaristo is the current President of the Royal Society of Literature, being the second woman and first Black woman in the role. Evaristo is a major advocate for the inclusion of POC writers and authors, giving all the more reason for her to be celebrated.


Maya Angelou


Celebrated author, poet, dancer, singer and activist, Maya Angelou’s works span across genres and subjects. Over the years they have left an indelible mark on the literary landscape. One of her most well-known works is her debut memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The narrative details Angelou’s strength amidst racism and trauma. Beginning with a three-year-old Angelou and her brother being sent to live with their grandmother, the memoir traces the weight of abandonment and prejudice, but ends on a hopeful note. In a world commonly written by men, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings pushes the lives of women to the forefront. And, for those hoping for some poetry this International Women’s Day, Angelou’s volume of poetry, And Still I Rise, captures the fervent desire to rise above adversity; a fitting companion to the narrative of perseverance in her autobiography. 


Brit Bennett


New York Times bestselling author of The Mothers and The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett’s work unravels the complexities of family and confronts all the love and darkness that lies there. Bennet has written nonfiction essays and books for children but is known most for her novels. Her debut, The Mothers, reveals the legacy and influence of motherhood through the life of Nadia Turner. After emerging from a childhood haunted by her mother’s suicide, Nadia finds herself pregnant and on the verge of becoming a mother herself. Plagued by ‘what-ifs’ and the void where maternal guidance should have been, Nadia must face her past and the community she left there. Bennett’s second novel, The Vanishing Half, maintains this familial focus in a story of two sisters that explores not just their unique sisterly bond, but the external forces that manipulate and shape their anxieties and aspirations.


Kamila Shamsie


Kamila Shamsie, a Pakistani-British author, has garnered widespread acclaim for her thought-provoking novels exploring the complexities of identity and politics. Notably, her novel Home Fire earned her the prestigious Women's Prize for Fiction in 2018, showcasing her narrative prowess and ability to resonate with a global audience. Shamsie's storytelling is marked by nuanced exploration and a keen understanding of societal complexities, contributing significantly to the richness of contemporary literature.




Toni Morrison 


Toni Morrison, an American literary luminary, has left an enduring mark on literature with her powerful and evocative works. Beloved, one of her most acclaimed novels, is a haunting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its profound impact on the African American experience. Morrison, the first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, is celebrated for her eloquence, courage and unflinching examination of profound themes that transcend time and cultural boundaries. 


Susan Abulhawa


Susan Abulhawa, a Palestinian-American author, is known for her poignant works that shed light on the Palestinian experience. Her novel Mornings in Jenin weaves a multigenerational tale, offering a powerful portrayal of the human cost of conflict. Abulhawa's storytelling brings attention to the resilience and struggles of the Palestinian people, contributing to a broader understanding of their history and challenges.

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