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14 Books Written By and About Smart, Strong and Brave Women

Today (and every day!) we are celebrating all women— smart, strong, brave women— and their allies, who are changing the world for the better. In honour of International Women's Day on March 8, we've put together a list of books that celebrate the experience of womanhood. 

Shrewed by Elizabeth Renzetti

A funny, intelligent, and insightful collection of original new essays on women and feminism from bestselling author and popular Globe and Mail columnist Elizabeth Renzetti.

Heroes in my Head by Judy Rebick

A courageous, moving, and powerful memoir from one of Canada’s best-known feminists, Heroes in My Head is the incredible untold story of Judy Rebick’s struggle with depression and Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Divided Loyalties by Nilofar Shidmehr

This intimate collection of short fiction by acclaimed poet Nilofar Shidmehr spans four decades to present an unflinching gaze on the lives of Iranian women in post-revolutionary Iran and the contemporary diaspora in Canada.

Autopsy of a Boring Wife by Marie-Renee Lavoie 

Like a Québécois Bridget Jones’s Diary, Marie-Renée Lavoie’s Autopsy of a Boring Wife tells the hysterically funny and ultimately touching tale of forty-eight-year-old Diane, a woman whose husband is having an affair because, he says, she bores him.

Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta

Set in Toronto’s “Little Jamaica” neighbourhood, Frying Plantain follows one young girl from elementary school to high school graduation in twelve interconnected stories that expose the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation Canadians and first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity and predominantly white society.

Dual Citizens by Alix Ohlin 

From Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Alix Ohlin comes an intimate and compelling novel about motherhood, love and the search for belonging, and what it means to be a sister.

Dunk Tank by Kayla Czaga

The much-anticipated second collection from Gerald Lampert Memorial Award–winning poet Kayla Czaga, Dunk Tank is a rich, imaginative, and sometimes absurdist exploration of the landscape of the body and of adult life.

Furious by Erin Moure

The poetry in the Governor General’s Award-winning collection Furious is charged with Erin Moure’s characteristic energy and wit as she explores the limits of pure reason and the language of power. There is, too, a fresh and often celebratory look at love, and, in an unusual finale, “The Acts,” Moure challenges us to explore a feminist aesthetic: of thinking, of the page, of working life and the possibility of poetry.

Basic Black with Pearls by Helen Weinzweig

A lost feminist classic — and winner of the Toronto Book Award — reissued to coincide with the 35th anniversary of publication.

In her yearning, elusive search for a lover, Shirley Kaszenbowski sheds her drab “basic black” existence together with torturous memories of guilt and loss as a Jewish immigrant in Toronto.

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

An enchanting and captivating novel, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is an irresistible, deeply moving, and romantic story of a young girl, daughter of an abusive father, who has to learn the hard way that she can break the patterns of the past, live on her own terms, and find her own strength.

Great Expectations: Twenty-Five True Stories about Childbirth by Lisa Moore and Dede Crane

In this exceptional collection of original essays, twenty-five celebrated writers share one of their most intimate and life-changing experiences: giving birth. Moving, uniquely honest, and transformative, Great Expectations takes the reader on an emotional and physical journey like no other.

river woman by Katherena Vermette 

Governor General’s Award–winning Métis poet and acclaimed novelist Katherena Vermette’s second collection, river woman, explores her relationship to nature — its destructive power and beauty, its timelessness, and its place in human history.

The Book for Dangerous Woman by Clair Conville, Liz Hoggard and Sarah-Jane Lovett

Ever wonder how to best dress your apple-shaped figure? Do you know the top twelve rules on how to properly (and discreetly) conduct an affair? The Book for Dangerous Women is a sly, elegant encyclopedia of practical wisdom by three women who know a bit about life and bring their myriad of experiences of bear on topics such as marriage, infidelity, motherhood, sex, fashion, friendship, work, and self-discovery.

Stereoblind by Emma Healey

Launching off from subjects as varied as Tinder and animal testing, Emma Healey’s provocative new collection of prose poems explores the urgent themes of feminism, mental illness, sexuality, artistic practice, alienation, connection, technology, and time.

 


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