And just like that, March is over and we’re back in the doom and gloom situation of the second wave of Covid and lockdown here in India. I seriously hate this frigging virus. I don’t like cursing, but I am cursing the life of this cursed virus at this point. Go die already!! Ok, I have vented. Breathe in, breathe out..woosa..woosa..inner peace..
March is celebrated as International Women’s Day and I decided to read books written by female authors to celebrate this month 🙂 At first I thought I might have trouble finding only women authors to read, until I realised that my bookshelf was brimming with books written by women! Wow..:)
So I read a mix and mash of genres and keeping up with the tradition of this book talk series, here are the books I read by female authors and this is what their writing made me think about 🙂
Talk about breaking tropes and gender stereotypes and writing a breakthrough book that has a diverse set of characters and is masterfully crafted fantasy mixed with science fiction!! One of my favorite reads of March – Andrea Stewart’s writing reinforced my beliefs in fighting against gender stereotypes in the world of writing and literature 🙂
On the opposite end, we have writers who spoil it all. Who ensure that the female author cliches will remain and who will ensure that women will only want to read about fluffy subjects, food and being eternally confused about the man they are supposed to like. Forget about the serious subjects like abandonment by family, or dealing with a toxic relationship, or talking about religion and the tensions around it, or the work that comes with starting your own business. According to this writer, life can just be glossed over. Utterly disappointing read. The premise of the book shop was the only saviour in this book for me.
Talk about getting better and better with each book you write! Talk about literally growing up with your book and the character of your book! Did you know that Sarah J Maas wrote the first book in this series when she was just 16??!! Impressed. Also, I just loved the fact that we have this ass kicking heroine who also has a string of hot men helping her out in each book 😉 I mean if James Bond can have a new heroine in every movie, why not Celeana Sardothien!? You go girl!
It takes so much courage and strength to become completely naked in front of strangers. To lay your soul bare and talk about your deepest fears and your darkest secrets? To talk about abuse and dealing or not dealing with it? To call yourself out and to call the society out for making women feel guilty for the abuse they go through. For making us feel that changing our bodies can make things better for us? I was as usual blown away by her honesty.
It was about time that us women defended our romances and started questioning everyone who looked down on us for reading romance or ‘chicklit’ (ugh I hate this term), why they think this doesn’t count as reading or writing? Have you read romance novels lately? Most of these stories take about friendship, supportive families, realistic and relatable characters, characters dealing with realistic issues – and a lot of important things written in a manner that will leave you with a smile at the end. Why are people so wary of love and friendship and laughter? I’m so thankful to Rachel Lynn Solomon for saying that aloud through her character Rowan, in this book 🙂
And finally, this non fiction collection of essays written by a Muslim Indian female author about what it is to be Muslim in the world and in India in the polarised times we live in today. I learned that she and I have so many similarities in terms of the cultural ceremonies we have, or our religious learnings/texts or the food we prepare during festivals. If there are so many similarities, why is there this stigma of ‘otherness’ added to people of this faith? What will it take for the world and India to be truly inclusive and secular?
Have you read any of the books above? If yes, did you think about the same things I did, or did you have different questions or thoughts in your head? I’d love to discuss any of the books above if you’re interested, in the comments section 🙂