Books to Read for International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day, during which we celebrate the achievements of women around the globe and recognize how much work still remains in order to reach true gender parity.

Here at Read the World, we’re marking this day with — what else? — book recommendations!  We’ve compiled a short list of incredible books, both fiction and non-fiction, that touch on the critical issues facing women worldwide:

on black sisters street
Set in Nigeria and Belgium, On Black Sisters Street follows four women working in Antwerp’s red light district.  This heart-wrenching novel tackles poverty, trafficking, sexual abuse, and the complexity of female relationships amid danger.
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persepolis cover
is Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir about growing up during the Islamic Revolution in Iran.  Through striking black-and-white illustrations, Persepolis explores politics, gender discrimination, and war.
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the space between us
The Space Between Us
is set in modern-day Mumbai and follows two very different women: wealthy widow Serabai and Bhima, her longtime servant.  Alternating narrations allow the reader to see the chasms created by their class differences, and the novel also explores themes of education access and reproductive rights.
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round house
Set in North Dakota, Louise Erdrich’s The Round House is narrated by Joe, a thirteen-year-old whose world is upended when his mother, Geraldine, is attacked.  As he struggles to understand why Geraldine has withdrawn to her room and refuses to name her rapist, he discovers the harsh reality of how rare justice can be for women living on reservations.
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girl in translation
Girl in Translation
is the story of Kimberly Chang, who immigrates with her mother to New York from Hong Kong, only to be faced with crushing poverty, long hours working in a Chinatown sweatshop, and the difficulties of assimilating to a new culture.
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i am malala
I Am Malala
is Malala Yousafzai’s memoir of her childhood in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, her advocacy on behalf of education for girls, and the Taliban attack that changed her life and catapulted her to international fame.
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Happy International Women’s Day!