Matador Network Editors Matt Hershberger, Ana Bulnes, and Morgane Croissant, as well as MatadorU Writing Faculty Member Mary Sojourner selected 7 books (fiction and non-fiction) written by women about the female experience. If these don’t make you want to smash misogyny and eradicate patriarchy, nothing will.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
As a man, what is often most astounding to me is how much different a woman’s life — even one lived in close proximity to mine — can be from my own, without my knowing. One of the first books that jarred me out of that bubble was The Color Purple. If it’s tough to be a woman now, it’s nothing compared to being a black gay woman in the 1930’s American South. The Color Purple is an uncomfortable book, and that’s the point. It lets us into the lives of women who are brutalized by pretty much everyone around them, and it makes us feel their pain, and lets us see their strength. And what’s literature for, if not that? –Matt Hershberger