International Women’s Day is dedicated to celebrating empowered, beautiful and diverse women from all walks of life. There are so many incredible reads by women of all book genres, so if you’re looking for a real-life story or non-fiction read, our list below explores memorable authors that have contributed to a more equal world and broadened our perceptions.
As an important day for many readers, writers and individuals throughout society, we’ve picked our favourite books to entertain you by inspiring women to celebrate their literary and fictional achievements to celebrate International Women’s Day this year!
From a young age, American author, academic, and journalist Elif Batuman and her parents from Turkey knew that she would be a great novelist one day. Her first book ‘The Possessed: Adventure with Russian Books and The People Who Read Them‘, became a bestselling bibliometric and is popular among readers worldwide. Her first Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, ‘The Idiot’, was based on her own experiences as a Turkish-American woman.
Batuman was excited to write a novel on ‘the struggle for girls to find meaning outside of the romance plot’ and hopes to produce literature that stems from real-life personal problems. Elif insists that literature should encompass ‘all the irrelevant garbage’ of life and that authors should be allowed to grieve about personal struggles!
This multidisciplinary artist and writer, Akwaeke Emezi, was dubbed as TIME Magazine’s Next Generation Leader in 2021. Akwaeke has six books published and another on its way called, ‘You Made A Fool Of Death With Your Beauty’ which has been nominated as the ‘Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Marie Claire’, The Guardian, and many more. Amazon Studios have also won the screen rights for the book while Michael B. Jordan’s ‘Outlier Society’ will develop the book into the film – we can’t wait to see it!
This gifted non-binary, Nigerian writer and artist fully understands the demanding and challenging lives of modern youth and the expectations within society, which is why her novels explore the power of youth, protest, choice, and love.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Casey McQuiston wants to introduce more romantic comedies about queer people into the new adult fiction genre. Attending a conservative school made her determined to write books that would make queer teenagers feel less isolated from the rest of the community, to give them a sense of hope and peace with their feelings.
Casey’s debut contemporary queer romance, ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’, was aimed to push queer romance into the spotlight which was achieved as she later published two additional queer forward romance novels – ‘One last stop’ and ‘I kissed Shara Wheeler’.
An American book award winner, Reyna Grande, focuses on immigration, family separation, language trauma, and the price of the ‘American dream’ in her writing. Her best-selling memoir, ‘The Distance Between Us’, centres around her life before and after moving to the US from Mexico as an undocumented child immigrant and, along with her other works, allowed her to be featured in Oprah’s Book Club.
Reyna’s books have been introduced as a reading selection by schools across the US to provide children in similar circumstances a sense of hope, comfort and to enlighten them of the very real realities that peers may experience.
With six published novels documenting her journey and the 7th, ‘A Ballad of Love and Glory’, on its way, Reyna Grande has a wide range of stories for all kinds of readers to encourage awareness of immigration realities.
Nghi believes in ‘the ritual of lipstick, the power of stories, and the right to change your mind’. Between her novels ‘The Chosen and the Beautiful’ and ‘The Siren Queen’, and her acclaimed novellas, this concept is made very clear due to the themes of courageous, intelligent and beautiful women enfolded in the world of fantasy created. From food, death, and family all the way to blood, love, and rhetoric, Nghi Vo does it all to perfection.
Vo’s debut novel, ‘The Chosen and the Beautiful’, is an exceptionally great representation of her writing style as she reinvents the classic American novel, ‘The Great Gatsby’, as a coming-of-age story revolving around immigrants, opulence, and magic.
Debut novelist Jessamine Chan, newly released book, ‘The School for Good Mothers’ is centred around a character that truly resonates with mothers and how they are supposed to solve problems individually even though systemic problems.
The darkly comedic novel revolves around how a lapse in a young mother’s judgment lands her in a reform program where her child’s custody hangs in the balance. This flawed Chinese American heroine enlightens the reader about the daily struggles of racism, sexism and privilege that mothers of colour face.
Nikkie May left her successful ad agency to become a writer, and as a result her debut novel, ‘Wahala’, is being turned into a major BBC TV drama. Nikkie claims that a long lunch inspired the novel with her friends, and therefore turned into a more diverse, modern and real version of ‘Sex and the City’ as the story follows three Anglo-Nigerian friends and a glamorous fourth woman that joins their group.
This new novelist gives a sharp yet modern take on female friendships that are influenced by ambition, culture and betrayal. It is a powerful ode to the modern woman to encourage them to step away from their pride that upholds their daily “hustle” and allows themselves to stumble in their careers and personal lives.
Kai Harris is a writer and educator that uses her voice to uplift black communities through realistic fiction that is centred around the black experience. Kai’s debut novel, ‘What the fireflies knew’, lays emphasis on the tenderness, beauty and sorrow that surrounds black girlhood. With puberty and adolescence the book explores vulnerability, heartbreak, and uncertainty, which is a necessary component of growing up and discovering power and individuality. Kai Harris’s novel serves as a reminder that one can only truly heal by facing painful experiences with the help and support of those around us.
Our list of diverse female authors could be endless, with so many amazing authors out there with incredible books to read. From motherhood and adolescence to sexuality and cultural diversity, there is something on our list for everyone to feel empowered and appreciate women today on International Women’s Day. Let’s celebrate the literacy and fictional achievements of women and books of all genres that have inspired our lives and helped us make powerful life decisions.