Throughout our lives we are oriented to give importance to books. Reading, for many, is a primordial and worthy question of the most important, basic principle of communication. However, it is easy to perceive the discrepancy between the authors we read: male writers have much more weight in our training and almost no talk in women writers. Gender inequalities, even today, are still very present.
The way of writing was harshly traced by women, some had their works stolen, some needed to use masculine pseudonyms to publish their texts, and others only had recognition of their literary greatness years after their deaths.
In 115 years, only 13 women won the Nobel Prize for Literature until today. The Camões Prize, established in 1988, granted by Brazil and Portugal to Portuguese-speaking writers, had only six women honored, and the Jabuti Prize, the most important prize of our literature, was given to only 12 women since 1959 in the romance category.
However, even with so many obstacles, many authors write about feminism, in its various points of view: philosophical, political and social. Through different languages it was possible to insert women as protagonists of their own stories leading to an important reflection on our society and what it is to be a woman. Let’s check a list of authors that approach this theme:
Ana Cristina César
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She was a Brazilian poet who was part of the Marginal Poetry movement and the mimeograph generation of the 1970s. She left a work in which she portrays much of her intimate and daily life, criticizing behavioral patterns imposed on women.
Ana Maria Gonçalves
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In 2006, the mining author released Um Defeito de Cor, a book that portrays the trajectory of a black girl captured as a slave, and her struggle to become a free woman. In addition to the gender issue showing the strength of the woman, in the work it is possible to visualize an account of the life of the blacks in Colonial Brazil, also addressing the racial question.
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Formerly a member of the Black Panthers Group, a philosopher and teacher, Davis is a women’s rights and racial equality activist, and is also the author of several books. Her best-known book, Women, Race and Class, was published in 1981, a historical and critical panorama on themes such as the anti-capitalist struggle, the feminist struggle, the antiracist struggle, linked to contemporaneity.
Carolina Maria de Jesus
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Author of Quarto de Despejo, Carolina was a reclaimer of recyclables, and in her book she told the harsh reality of the periphery, denouncing the misery, hunger and violence suffered by her and her neighbors. She is considered one of the first black Brazilian authors.
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The English writer and poet of the 19th century was responsible for creating the novel Jane Eyre. The book was released in 1847 and has as its main character a poor and ugly woman, totally contrary to the standards of the time – and as if it were not enough, she becomes the owner of her own life, going in search of the realization of her.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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An exponent of contemporary literature and one of the leading names in African literature, Chimamanda is responsible for several works that tell the daily lives of black women, addressing issues such as racism and violence against women. In her baggage she has very important introductory books on feminism, such as We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, Or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.
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Being one of the greatest authors of Brazilian literature, choosing a book is a difficult task. In general plans, Lispector was responsible for books in which feminism is shown in the form of female protagonists, in addition to exploring social issues as the committed role in society.
Louisa May Alcott
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The American author was known for dedicating herself to children’s literature. Her book, Little Women, was written in the period of the American Civil War, showing the question of women’s independence.
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In The Beauty Myth, the Californian author faces what she believes is the only obstacle women face in achieving equality. The book shows how the beauty industry and the beautiful female cult manipulate images, diminishing women’s psychological and material resistance, reducing the 20-year achievements of struggles to mere illusions, Naomi wrote a book with statistical data.
Image Source: NY Times
Success in sales, the poetess and plastic artist, transforms all the traumas and fears connected to the daily feminine in raw matter for the most beautiful poetry. The book Milk & Honey was launched independently in 2014 and talk about topics such as abuse, violence, love, suffering, maternity, sexist and relationship.
Simone de Beauvoir
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The intellectual, philosopher and French writer is considered one of the fundamental stones of feminist theory. She was one of the pioneers in gender studies with the 1947 launch of The Second Sex. It is in this book that the famous phrase is found: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”. The book addresses the difference between the existence and the social construction of gender, as well as the oppressive factors of women. Their criticisms of patriarchy are given by talking about men’s behaviors and stereotypes, as well as their resistance to understanding feminist demands and guidelines.
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The Ukrainian writer is the woman who most recently received the Nobel Prize in Literature (2015). In her book The War Has No Woman’s Face, she tells the story of World War II from the perspective, never before portrayed, of the Soviet soldiers who stood on the battlefront acting as snipers, volunteers, tank pilots, or nurses. With the book, Svetlana shows the silencing of female narratives, often ignoring the decisive role of women in historical moments.
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Only black woman who received the Nobel Prize in Literature. The book Amada, for which she received the award, tells the story of a former slave who runs away with her children after the abolition of slavery in the United States. Paradise, a book published in 1998 using a metaphorical language, shows a courageous appeal to freedom.
Image Source: The Independent
The English writer was part of the modernist movement. Important author, Woolf wrote several with female protagonists. In Room of One’s Own, she speaks of the need and importance of a feminine discourse in literature and in society itself. In the book she exemplifies her position by saying that if Shakespeare had a sister as talented as he, she would not have the same prestige as her brother and perhaps could not write a single line because she was not given the same education, social status and respect .
What feminist work would you add to this list?