7 New Feminist Nonfiction Books For 2019, Because Knowledge Is Power
Nothing grinds my gears quite like the assertion that feminism isn't needed anymore, that the work is done, or that a movement pushing for equality has somehow gone too far. But in 2019, instead of howling my rage into the abyss I'm going to channel it by burying my nose in a book. And although that might sound somewhat counterproductive, the cliché "knowledge is power" is a cliché because it's true. So this coming year I will be flexing my mind muscles by reading up on all things empowerment, with these seven new feminist nonfiction books for 2019. Whether it's uplifting stories of change from women and girls around the world, experiences of overcoming adversity from famous feminists, or lessons from women's history.
The feminist fight continues in 2019 and these books will help me be ready for whatever sexism the world throws my way. Even if that's just by brandishing one of them intimidatingly at a cat-caller, or borrowing a sharp turn of phrase to use the next time someone tries to mansplain the concept of equality to me. But jokes aside, the oppression of women won't stop unless women stop it, and all seven of these books are full of ideas of how to do just that. So here's to an intersectional feminist future in 2019.
'Feel Free' By Zadie Smith — February 2019
Zadie Smith is one of Britain's best and most-beloved writers. She's dissected class and multiculturalism in the UK, transformed stuffy classics for the modern age, and the nature of fame in novels like 'White Teeth,' 'On Beauty,' and 'Swing Time' while her 2009 essay collection 'Changing My Mind' covers topics as expansive as Smith's family history, cinema, and race in America. Expect 2019's 'Feel Free' to be no less varied as Smith turns her pen to politics, hip hop, and even Norwegian literature.
Resisters: 52 Young Women Making Herstory Right Now By Lauren Sharkey — February 2019
When women are so used to messages about what they can't do, no matter how subtle or coded those might be, it helps to be reminded that there are women and girls everywhere refusing to wait for permission to change the world. Bustle writer Lauren Sharkey's book, expected early next year, profiles amazing women doing amazing things around the world. With beautiful illustrations from the talented Manjit Thapp, this might just be the most uplifting thing you read all year.
'The Women's Suffrage Movement' by Sally Roesch Wagner — March 2019
While in 2018 British feminists celebrated the 100-year anniversary of some women getting the vote, in America that milestone will be celebrated in 2020. To mark the occasion Sally Roesch Wagner has edited a collection of essays on women's suffrage that focuses on intersectionality and includes voices that have previously excluded from mainstream feminist retellings of the fight for the vote. With a forward by feminist icon Gloria Steinem, this looks to be required reading for 2019.
'The Gendered Brain' By Gina Rippon — February 2019
Have you ever heard "men and women are just wired differently" and instantly felt your blood start to boil? I know I have. Which is why I can't wait to get my hands on Gina Rippon's 'Gendered Brain' in February. It takes the stereotype that women's brains are filled with fluff and fairy dust and drop kicks it back into the previous century, where it belongs. And how does she do it? With science, and not just any science, neuroscience. And as you can't argue with science, I'm pre-ording a copy for each of my uncles and suggest you do the same. Here's to not wasting a single breath on sexism in 2019.
'Voices Of Powerful Women' By Zoe Sallis — March 2019
Have you ever wished you could gather wisdom from influential, inspiring, and fearless women all in one place? Well wish no more as Zoe Sallis' new book 'Voices of Powerful Women' does just that. Those delivering anecdotes with grace and humour include Isabel Allende, Maya Angelou, Judi Dench, Shami Chakrabarti, and Tracey Emin.
Rude By Nimko Ali — July 2019
Feminism attempts to free women from restrictions that are not placed on men. One of these restrictions is that women should always be polite, pleasant, and pretty. Ali's 'Rude' aims to rip all that to shreds. Its focus is the vagina, which it looks at uncompromisingly from all angles. From its ability to bring life into the worlds to periods, orgasms, and everything in between, the book refuses, as everyone should, to be ashamed of its most intimate parts.
'The Greater Freedom: Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes' By Alya Mooro — September 2019
One of the first nonfiction books from Amazon's publishing imprint Little A, journalist Alya Mooro's 'The Greater Freedom' looks set to be a much-needed rewriting of the stereotyped lens through which we look at Middle Eastern Women. The novel is described by the publisher as "part memoir, part social commentary" and will focus on Mooro's personal experiences and conversations with other Middle Eastern women to paint a vivid portrait of a reality lived beyond misconception and expectation.