March is National Women's History Month in the U.S., and for book nerds everywhere, it means we have another excuse to read our favorite female authors. But on Tuesday, March 8, it's time to visit another aisle in the book store and check out some amazing international women authors to read for International Women's Day.
From Asia to South America and everywhere in between, female authors have been creating incredible stories and important texts for centuries, and now, their voices are louder than ever. In a field that, like so many others, is dominated by men, women from around the world are breaking through to share stories that are both uniquely theirs — about the experiences of their country and culture — and at the same time, universal to women around the world. They are stories about growing up and discovering yourself, stories about female friendship and familial bonds, stories about love, loss, hope, fear, and the female experience as a whole. They're stories that need to be told, and thanks to the global world we live in, they are stories that are easy to share, even from halfway around the planet.
In honor of the talented women all over the globe, here are 9 international female authors to read for International Women's Day. Get ready to find your new favorite writer.
1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The author of 2013's runaway bestseller Americanah, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an author that should be on everyone's reading list. Emotional and poignant, Adichie's writing is both powerful and profound, and it doesn't shy away from addressing important issues like race, identity, and feminism. Next book for your reading list: her short essay, We Should All Be Feminists.
2. Elif Shafak
The author of 14 books, Elif Safak is the most widely read female author in her home of Turkey, and once you read one of her incredible novels, you'll understand why. The author of books such as The Bastard of Istanbul and The Architect's Apprentice, Shafak is a lyrical, mesmerizing writer that often blends history, magical realism, and classic literary techniques to tell amazing stories, especially ones about women, minorities, and growing up. If you haven't read her yet, start with The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi, and you won't be disappointed.
3. Helen Oyeyemi
Award-winning British novelist Helen Oyeyemi knows how to tell an incredible story. A literary genius in her own right, Oyeyemi's celebrated novels like Boy, Snow, Bird and White Is for Witching are imaginative, enchanting, and beautifully crafted. Her newest collection, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, is actually being released on International Women's Day, so take it as a sign and go pick up a copy ASAP.
4. Isabel Allende
Sometimes called the world's most widely read Spanish-language author, internationally bestselling Chilean-American writer Isabel Allende has written more than 20 books in both Spanish and English. A master at blending reality and myth, Allende is a talented storyteller who mostly focuses on the lives and experiences of women. Her latest novel, The Japanese Lover, is a sweeping, multi-generational love story, and should be next on your to-be-read list.
5. Banana Yoshimoto
Japanese writer Mahoko Yoshimoto, who publishes under the name Banana Yoshimoto, is an inventive and elegant writer. Her stories are captivating tales about love, loss, loneliness, and acceptance, but if you're going to pick up a book by Yoshimoto, make it Kitchen, her English-language debut and arguably her most beloved novel.
6. Janice Pariat
A poet and an writer, Indian author Janice Pariat made history when she became the first author from Megahalaya to recieve an award from India's National Academy of Letters, the Sahitya Akademi, for a work in English. A beautiful and poetic writer, Pariat's latest work, Seahorse, was shortlisted for the Hindu Literary Prize last year, so if you're going to give her work a try, that isn't a bad place to start.
7. Muriel Bayberry
French novelist Muriel Barberry is a bestselling author on more than one continent. Best known for her smart, philosophical novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Bayberry is sophisticated yet accessible writer that know how to work in just the right amount of humor. You should keep Bayberry on your radar.
8. Arundhati Roy
Best known for her Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The God of Small Things, author Arundhati Roy is a controversial figure in her home of India. After her successful novel, Roy has been focused on her activism and has penned several nonfiction essays about politics and culture, and her work garnered her a spot on the 2014 TIME 100 list. Trust me, she is worth a read.
9. Maylis de Kerangal
Though only a few of her novels are available in English, French author Maylis de Kerangal is an international star to watch. Her latest book, The Heart, is a deeply emotional novel about life, death, and the fine line that separates them. A meditative and prolific writer, we can only hope to see more from this amazing talent