This week in our book recommendation series in celebration of women’s history month, we present a booklist for all those readers who want to think and act like revolutionaries. The books here are touchstones of African feminism and are all about dismantling the patriarchy.
“I wrote this book with enough rage to fuel a rocket” is how Mona Eltahawy opens her powerful manifesto The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which seeks to inspire girls to break the rules and lean into their inner rebel. Tsitsi Dangarembga’s memoir Black and Female, Minna Salami’s Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone, and Desiree Lewis and Gabeba Baderoon’s edited collection Surfacing: On Being Black and Feminist in South Africa all challenge the reader to rethink whatever assumptions they might have about the black female experience, black feminist knowledge making, and what it means to live, think, and create as a feminist. Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah’s The Sex Lives of African Women and Leila Slimani’s Sex and Lies: True Stories of Women’s Intimate Lives in the Arab World challenge the culture of silence and taboo around sex and female pleasure. In both groundbreaking books, the joys of a truly feminist experience is linked to a fulfilling sex life lived in all its transgressive diversity.
You will also find fiction that feature heroines who are willing to do whatever it takes to cut the patriarchy down to size. My Sister the Serial Killer is a humorous and feminist take on the serial-killer trope while Mary Watson’s Blood to Poison is a story about harnessing anger as a force for change.
We hope hope you find these books illuminating and inspiring!