Today we’re introducing you to the stories of women who made history with their amazing, renowned, and timeless books. Merging older and newer books that have similar particularities, the delicate, strong, and precise writing made by women also carrying these qualities, conquered and still conquers many hearts out there, and maybe, now it’s time to earn yours. Come and find out!
Literature x Women
Literature has always had a role that included women. However, their participation was strictly to be a character who cleaned the house, or the young lady of a good novel, who found a reason for her life in love. Their ends were not about being known for themselves, and with one exception – which we will soon see here – women’s emotions were not explored and discussed openly in a narrative. Their goal in life was to “find a happy ever after”.
As we bring for discussion, you can imagine that this happy ever after was to find a husband and be well positioned in society.
Also, the literate women were not the only ones who had no voice. Real women are not so accepting of writing, the masochism was too much in this field.
However, nowadays the literary world is predominantly made by women, and so today we bring you five book options that feature women as protagonists, written by the protagonists of the stories – women. Enjoy it!
- LITTLE WOMEN
The book’s introduction begins with the phrase “little women of yesterday, today, and always” for a reason.
The timeless classic, published in 1868, is one of the most widely used school textbooks in the United States and challenges many restrictions set for the time. Women were not allowed to seek independence.
The author Louisa May Alcott created intelligent, sensitive, and strong women. Set during the Civil War period that took place in the US from ’61 to ’68, the book deals with sensitive themes and will give you many literary smiles through the March family.
Their family is made of a loving mother, a warring father who is greatly missed, and the 4 sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The girls are very independent, walk together, read, and are raised to be creative and intelligent. Jo, however, being the protagonist of the novel, is a vivid portrait of what, for the time, would be considered a scandal.
She finds in literature a place to express her feelings, especially her longing for her father. She always expresses her discontent at being a woman and not being able to act as she would like, not being able to play sports. Despite this, Jo manages to have a lot of fun with her neighbor Laurie, both sharing their exact wishes.
Meg, Beth, and Amy also have prominent roles in the book, each in their way, and together, they form the March family, who – for sure – will win you over. The book also brings to light the importance of the union of women and a small look at a predominantly female world.
- THE HANDMAID’S TALE
The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian series that shows a backward society in terms of gender equality. Where fertile women are only for reproduction, and women in general have no voice.
Written by Margaret Atwood, the book follows the story of June Osborn, a woman who loses her daughter and husband when she is inserted into this new model of society. But, she fights for her independence and rights.
It’s shocking and emotional to think about the approaches; how society can even think about that reality as normal and ways, in our world, to make people think and work to make that place a model to not follow.
It shows the union in a group of women too, and how powerful it is. Margaret makes this dystopic novel very real for us to think about equity concepts.
- SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO
Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid, the phenomenon published in 2017 conquers more and more readers for its light narrative that addresses such strong topics.
The plot revolves around a journalist who is asked to interview one of the most iconic divas of Hollywood, Evelyn Hugo. Throughout the interviews, Evelyn tells her passionate story, telling the truth about each one of her seven husbands – who, for once, are not the protagonists. If there is anyone who comes close to sharing the lead with Evelyn, it is another woman: Celia St. James.
Celia is also an actress and is inserted in the story as a possible competitor of Evelyn, but in the end, the two create a unique relationship of complicity, companionship, love, and friendship.
Evelyn is described as a slender woman, with blonde hair that asks for green dresses that further enhance her enviable beauty that carries a marked sensuality.
However, when reading the book and approaching her journey, the most beautiful part that the actress carries with her is her unwavering strength, confidence, and hope, also, her love for her daughter Connor. It is a book that will thrill you as it makes you smile. Such a simple narrative that carries an impressive power.
- EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE
If you are not a fan of fictional books but also want a theme focused on the female universe, girl, this tip is for you!
Dolly Alderton makes her life more than an autobiography, but rather a canvas to illustrate all the concepts she addresses in the book. The book talks about the impasses of the transition from teenage years to adulthood and all the weight it carries, exploring first loves and heartbreaks, and the importance of a best friend. It’s almost like a big sister in book format, the real definition of a comfort book.
The author’s accounts allow for an approximation with the reader, creating a connection and sensitivity to the experiences Dolly shares. It is a silent agreement of mutual respect and affection. It’s more than a reading, you’ll feel like you’re in therapy. It’s an experience.
- I AM MALALA
Side to side with a Nobel Prize, this suggestion is also not a fictional book. But it is also not a very funny book. It’s a book written by a woman who suffered a lot and decided to get through this pain and became an example, an idol.
I Am Malala is a story about Malala, a young woman born in Pakistan, a woman who was – and still is – falling in love with education. A woman who believes that the actual gun is a pen because that gun can change this entire world. And, to be a stronger believer, Malala was a defender of girls and women and fought for it.
Therefore, Malala has been shut on her head by someone who didn’t like her social opinions and positions. And surprising everyone and going against all expectations, Malala – again – transformed her pain into inspiration, motivation, and pride.
Now good news, if you are on the audiovisual team, two of the books mentioned here already have adaptations!
With the right to an Oscar, the film Little Women, directed by Greta Gerwig, is considered one of the most remarkable adaptations of the literary world. Its successful cast masterfully displays all the content of the book, with great delicacy, sensitivity, strength, and intensity.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo already has a confirmed adaptation directed by Liz Tigellar, but still no date for debut. So, there’s still time to have the unique feeling of reading this unique book.
The Handmaid’s Tale became a show that you can find on some channels too. It was a really real and beautiful adaptation that explores emotions, politics, and, at the same time, fear and hope.
I Am Malala was released in 2015 and is directed by Davis Guggenheim. The documentary takes a look at the events that happened to Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani woman attacked by the Taliban for speaking out about women’s education and its aftermath, including her speech at the UN.
So, which one will you start with?
This article was edited by Beatriz Oliveira.
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