Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ten top books about women

Bidisha is a writer and broadcaster specializing in human rights, international affairs and the arts and culture. She also does outreach work in UK detention centers and prisons. She is an International Reporting Project 2013 Fellow, working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to raise awareness of global development issues. Her most recent book is Beyond the Wall: Writing a Path Through Palestine.

One of her top ten books about women, as told to the Guardian:
Little Women
Louisa May Alcott 1868

Don’t let the bonnets fool you. This classic about four sisters is a savage black comedy disguised as a pinafore fancy. The author brutally debunks the notion that feminine submission and integrity will be rewarded: good sister Beth dies, housewifey sister Meg goes all Feminine Mystique with drudgery and boredom, bimbo Amy winds up with himbo Laurie, and writer Jo has to flog her own hair to a wigmaker and marry some weird random Svengali type to survive. Women can’t have it all – or, indeed, anything – Alcott hints slyly, under all the cuteness.
Learn about another entry on the list.

Little Women also appears among Katherine Rundell's top ten descriptions of food in fiction, Gwyneth Rees's ten top books about siblings, Maya Angelou's 6 favorite books, Tim Lewis's ten best Christmas lunches in literature, and on the Observer's list of the ten best fictional mothers, Eleanor Birne's top ten list of books on motherhood, Erin Blakemore's list of five gutsy heroines to channel on an off day, Kate Saunders' critic's chart of mothers and daughters in literature, and ZoĆ« Heller's list of five memorable portraits of sisters. It is a book that disappointed Geraldine Brooks on re-reading.

--Marshal Zeringue