All posts filed under: books

Girls’ Globe Book Tour – Next Stop: Scotland

There is, and has always been, a wealth of wonderful and unique writing coming out of Scotland. Here are some of my favourite female Scottish writers, both long-loved and newly-discovered: Ali Smith One of Scotland’s best-loved writers, Ali Smith is an author, playwright, lecturer and journalist whose novels and short stories have gathered multiple prizes and endless admirers. Born and raised in Inverness, a small city in the north of Scotland, Smith started writing poetry at just 8 years old. There’s a long list of Smith novels to choose from, but my favourite is Hotel World, a mesmerising and inventive piece of writing in which Smith is beautifully playful with language – often going pages at a time without punctuating the stream-of-consciousness of her narrators. “Stories can change lives if we’re not careful. They will come in and take the shirts off our backs. Tell the right stories, and we live better lives.” – Ali Smith, during a radio interview in 2016 Jenni Fagan  A poet and novelist, Fagan graduated from Greenwich University with the highest possible grade for a creative writing. She was was included in the most recent Granta list of the 20 Best Young …

Girls’ Globe Book Tour – Next Stop: Latin America

Join Girls’ Globe on a global book tour of female authors. We’ve visited Sweden already, and we’re ready for our next stop! Latin America has a rich literary history. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda, Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Fuentes, Roberto Bolaño, Julio Cortazar. However,apart from a few notable exceptions, Latin America’s women authors have gone comparatively without recognition. Those who can quote Neruda’s Veinte Poemas may not have even heard of Ocampo’s Los Nombres. Yet Latin America is full of decorated women writers who capture the culture of their countries, and the nuances of the human condition, as well as any of the male writers in the Latin American canon. A few (available in English) to start: Laura Esquivel “La mera verdad es que la verdad no existe, todo depende del punto de vista.” “The truth is that the truth doesn’t exist, it’s all a matter of perspective.” Laura Esquivel is from Mexico City and spent eight years as a teacher. Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate captured imaginations for its mix of magical realism and genre cross-over and became a bestseller in the United States …

Girls’ Globe Book Tour – First Stop: Sweden

What we read can influence our thoughts, dreams and goals. Stories are powerful and so, too, are storytellers. Grab a book written by a strong woman who speaks her mind and you can be sure of a read free from meek female characters waiting in the background for a prince to save them! Join Girls’ Globe on a global book tour of female authors translated into English. Our first stop is Sweden – here are five writers who are sure to serve you spellbinding stories. All of Karolina Ramqvist’s writing is political. She is one of Sweden’s most well-known contemporary feminist writers, unafraid to spell out uncomfortable truths. Her style is simple and elegant, while the content is raw and fiery. Read the psychological The White City, about former gangster’s girlfriend, Karin, who suddenly finds herself alone with a baby and a pile of bills she can’t pay. The reader follows Karin’s fall from luxury housewife to abandoned single mother as she starts selling of her Louis Vuitton handbags to be able to afford food and heating. When Sara Stridsberg’s Swedish translation of Valeria Solana’s SCUM manifesto …

Books to Make You Feel Bold!

To mark International Women’s Day 2017 we’ve been celebrating the commitment and courage of the bloggers and organisations in Girls’ Globe’s network. We asked each of them to share their secrets of feeling BOLD. Here are the top 20 books that Girls’ Globe reads to feel inspired, emboldened and ready to take action! We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie What does “feminism” mean today? That’s the question at the heart of this personal, eloquently-argued essay. I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced, Nujood Ali Nujood Ali’s father arranged for her to be married to a man three times her age. This book reminds us that hope is a verb. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte This innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers through one woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life. Daring Greatly, Brené Brown A powerful new vision that encourages us to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives. Daughters of Africa, edited by Margaret Busby The most inclusive anthology ever attempted of oral and written literature–in every conceivable genre–by women of …

Story Power

As I travelled to work last week, mentally racing through the growing list of things I had left to do before departing for Copenhagen, I absent-mindedly opened the book I had been filling my train journeys with. On the first page I read, the protagonist describes being told a magical tale by an older sibling. He says: “That story, as all good stories, planted a seed in my soul and never left me.” (The Fishermen, Chigozie Obioma, 2015) I heard those words as though someone was speaking them aloud in my ear, then read them again, but more slowly, in that deliberate way you only ever bother to do when words make perfect sense or no sense at all. They summed up, more eloquently than I ever could, the reason I first began reading Girls’ Globe’s posts, the reason I now love blogging as part of the team, and the reason I believe a global moment like the Women Deliver Conference is so incredibly important to creating a better and fairer world for women and …

Race, Hair, Feminism and Norms: A Review of Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This is a book review that is a part of my goal for 2016 – to read twelve books by twelve female authors, one book for every month.  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s assertiveness to culture clashes, social norms, and relationships spellbinds the reader of Americanah – a love story infused by comedy and drama, focusing on a young Nigerian woman’s perspective of the world around her. Americanah is not only a great book and a fascinating story, it is an important read that dissects modern culture and unveils layers of racism, and sexism. It is through the main character Ifemelu, a bright and outspoken young woman from Nigeria, who has the chance to study in the United States, that the reader is made aware of societal norms that inhibits the lives of young women, and particularly African American or Non-American Black women in the United States. In ways, I familiarize myself with Ifemelu, who moves to a new country, and experiences cultural differences that can be both amusing and daunting. She challenges norms around her, but also adapts to her new surroundings, an adaptation that …