Feminist Book Fortnight: our reading recommendations

07 May 2019

One of our favourite fortnights of the year, Feminist Book Fortnight gives us the opportunity to blow our own trumpet and tell you about the incredible women authors and feminist books on our list – of which there are many.

Here are just a few of the incredible books we publish, and a look at books we have coming up this year.

Join us on Twitter & tell us what you’re reading for #FeministBookFortnight 


Memoirs of an ex prom queen

The lost classic that defined a generation – over a million copies sold

Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, first published in the 1970s, is still shockingly fresh and relevant today.

Sasha Davis has everything a girl growing up in 1950s suburbia could want: beauty, intelligence and an all-star sports captain boyfriend.

But when she drops out of college to marry, Sasha realises her life has become a fearful countdown to her thirtieth birthday – the year when her beauty will have faded entirely, and life as she knows it will end. As Sasha begins to rebel against her perfect, conservative upbringing, she finds herself experiencing an awakening that might be her only chance of outrunning the aging process.

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A novel of love and loss in the post-communist diaspora for fans

A vivid, painful, dreamlike story of two young Czech girls whose lives move between 1980s Prague, suburban Wisconsin and the alleyways of Paris where they are inexorably drawn…  of David Lynch & Elena Ferrante

If you loved My Brilliant Friend but are ready for something more surreal and gorgeously queer, look no further.

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I love dick

‘The most important book written about men and women written in the last century’ Guardian

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, falls for a rogue academic named Dick, she enlists her husband in her haunted pursuit. When Dick fails to answer their letters Chris continues alone, transforming an adolescent infatuation into a new form of philosophy. 

Widely considered to be the most important feminist novel of the past two decades, I Love Dick is still essential reading; as relevant, fierce and funny as ever.

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The Sexual Life of Catherine MThe sensational erotic memoir that shocked the world

A window into a life of insatiable desire and uninhibited sex – this is Parisian art critic Catherine M.’s account of her sexual awakening and her unrestrained pursuit of pleasure.

From the glamorous singles clubs of Paris to the Bois de Boulogne, The Sexual Life of Catherine M., breaks with accepted ideas of sex and examines many alternative manifestations of desire.

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 All grown up

Think BBC’s Fleabag set in Brooklyn’ Stylist 

‘I’m alone. I’m a drinker. I’m a former artist. I’m a shrieker in bed. I’m the captain of the sinking ship that is my flesh.’

Andrea is a single, childless 39-year-old woman who tries to navigate family, sexuality, friendships and a career she never wanted, but battles with thoughts and desires that few people would want to face up to.

Powerfully intelligent and wickedly funny, All Grown Up delves into the psyche of a flawed but mesmerising character. You’ll recognise yoruself in Jami Attenberg’s truthful account of womanhood, though you might not want to admit it.

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Eat your Heart Out

 ‘Dead smart and gloriously, mercifully, snort-out-loud hilarious’ Dazed

Ann-Marie is 23, her life has collapsed, and she’s blaming everyone but herself. 

Fiercely clever and unapologetically wild, Eat My Heart Out is the satire for our narcissistic, hedonistic, post-post-feminist era.From neo-burlesque pop-up strip clubs, to ironic Little Mermaid-themed warehouse parties via disastrous one night stands with extravagantly unsuitable men, naked cleaning jobs, a forced appearance on Woman’s Hour and baby boomer house parties in Islington, Ann-Marie hurtles through London and life, urged on by legnedary feminist Stephanie, who is convinced that if she can save Ann-Marie she’ll rescue an entire generation from the curse of ironic detachment.

Winner of the Betty Trask Prize

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quicksand passing

Critically acclaimed classics of women’s literature exploring race

Quicksand, written in 1928, is an autobiographical novel about a mixed race woman caught between fulfilling her desires and gaining respectability in her middle class neighbourhood. Written a year later, Passing tells the story of two childhood friends, Clare and Irene, both light skinned enough to pass as white. Reconnecting in adulthood, Clare has chosen to live as a white woman, while Irene embraces black culture.

Nella Larsen’s novels are moving, characterful, and important books. She pioneered writing about the conflicts of sexuality, race and the secret suffering of women in the early twentieth century.

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A prize-winning, genre-bending collection of short stories 
Her body & other parties

Shortlisted for the National Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize, Her Body and Other Parties has already reached cult status.  

A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the mysterious green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague spreads across the earth. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery about a store’s dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted house guest. 

A dark, shimmering slice into womanhood, Her Body and Other Parties is wicked and exquisite.

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Word for Woman

The feminist adventure novel the world has been waiting for

Erin is 19 and wondering why it’s always men who get to go on all the cool wilderness adventures. So she sets off on a voyage into the Alaskan wilderness, a one-woman challenge to the archetype of the rugged male explorer.

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The internet has collapsed the boundaries of time, space, and desire. However far apart lovers are,  can they ever really break up?

Break Up

This is the question Walsh’s narrator must reckon with as she travels across Europe after the end of a love affair conducted largely online. This pilgrimage through ‘offline’ space dictated by chance – on railways, on buses, on planes and, above all, on foot – reclaims and reshapes the territory of the male travel writer.

This is a work about borders – between places, people, genres – and how we might cross them. From Rome to Budapest, Freud to Foucault, algorithms to nostalgia, this is a stimulating, original work which dismantles what we know of love, and how we make art from it, and finds a new form and language for the way we love now.

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