Reading List: Women’s History Month

As part of our calendar celebrating national heritage months and observances, explore these selected works that speak to women’s history.


Artwork by Shivangi Ladha, self-portrait of a woman in different stages of reclining and sitting upright

Shivangi Ladha, Self Portrait, 2017. Screenprint with masking tape. Courtesy of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College.





  • In Issue 17’s portfolio, Stories from Syria, Shahla al-Ujayli’sThe Memoirs of Cinderella’s Slipper” (translated by Alice Guthrie) reimagines the Cinderella story through a young woman who seeks employment and empowerment against a backdrop of misogyny, protest, and violence. 
  • In Issue 21’s portfolio of Arabic stories from Morocco, Latifa Baqa’s “Adam’s Apple,” translated by Nariman Youssef, captures the intricacies of writing, privacy, and female sexuality and desire.  
  • “The Cassandras,” by Emma Sloley (Issue 21), captures the complex anxieties of women’s relationships with men and the comfort of female spaces. 



  • In her essay, All I Have is What I Have Given Away” (Issue 18), Susan R. Troccolo writes about her years in Italy, a slow reading of Dante, and an unlikely friendship with an older woman she meets along the way, Anna Lea Lelli. 
  • “Hen Medic: Maude Abbott and the Dawn of Cardiology,” an excerpt from Gabriel Brownstein’s The Open Heart Club, describes the intense and important work of one of Canada’s first female physicians who was an expert on congenital heart disease.
  • In her Issue 20 essay, “In Search of a Homeplace, LaToya Faulk writes about her grandmother, the ways that homes and bodies carry history, and her path towards defining her Black womanhood. 
  • In “Land Not Theirs” (Issue 16), Madison Davis, reflects on womanhood, race, the role of the church in the lives of Black Americans, and her own relationship to spirituality and prayer.
  • In “The Idle Talk of Mothers and Daughters” (Issue 18), Danielle Batalion Ola reflects on cycles of care and abuse, the complexities of her relationship with her mother, and leaving Kaua’i as she comes of age. 
  • Several essays from Issue 20’s portfolio, Writing from the Lusosphere, provide interesting perspectives on women’s history and contemporary experiences: In “Brief Exchanges” Susana Moreira Marques brings forward women’s voices as she explores the the complexities of womanhood and motherhood through a series of short vignettes. In “Her Borders Become Her,Fátima Policarpo reflects on her early years in Portugal, growing up in California, and her difficult relationship with her adopted father’s mother, Belle, exploring themes of autonomy, care, and violence in the lives of women and girls. Oona Patrick’s “Nobody Goes to Mértola” reflects on heartbreak, loneliness, women’s creativity, the male imagination, and a 17th century love story between a Portuguese nun and a French officer, all against the backdrop of a remote artists’ residence in the Portuguese Alentejo. 


Reading List: Women’s History Month