International Women's Day: 100 Years

Really loving Google's awesome search icon celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day. Today, we celebrate the lives of women throughout the world and throughout history.  In honor of such a special day, I've compiled a list of some female authors that I feel have influenced/will influence generations, accomplished the unthinkable and are sources of inspiration.  Feel free to share your own, and make sure to get over to What Red Read to view her list, as well. 

Lorrie Moore
I count too heavily on birthdays, though I know I shouldn't. Inevitably I begin to assess my life by them, figure out how I'm doing by how many people remember; it's like the old fantasy of attending your own funeral: You get to see who your friends are, get to see who shows up. 
I'll admit it, I've become obsessed with Lorrie Moore recently.  Her writing is so eloquent and raw (very possible). So real, yet so completely far fetched.  She writes vivid descriptions with such a sneer.  Her female characters deal with contemporary social constructions; yet, the context offers such ridiculous circumstances that readers are forced to examine the hidden meanings.  I think she encourages women to embrace the pain and heartache that accompany life, to embrace the beauty of their unique self, to recognize the intelligence that is so deeply embedded and so hard to extricate.  Simply put- her work is captivating and genuine.

Audre Lorde
If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.
I was introduced to Audre Lorde's work in a highly influential class in my undergraduate career.  As soon as I read the first few essays in Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches I knew I had never viewed work that moved me so. Her language worked through a spectrum of my emotions.  Without ever hearing her speak, I was in complete awe of a woman so completely sure of herself, so ready to share with others.  Individuals cite feelings of shame, ignorance and empowerment upon viewing her words.  I recognized the very center of myself, an attitude wanting to encompass my whole being.  This work, consequently, encouraged me to focus on feminist anthropology following the completion of the class.  The coursework that followed has made me much of who I am today.  I have vowed to read some of Lorde's essays this evening and fully appreciate what her work has done for the world, and for me.

Willa Cather
The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor.
Her observations of nature alone make her a favorite in my book.  Scenery of the Midwestern skies have drawn me into tales that seem highly romantic. However, amidst the striking scenery, Cather deals with tough aspects of the human condition.  I find that her novels, packed with hardworking, intelligent females, despite the time period, stick out in my mind.   If you haven't read Cather's work yet, what are you waiting for?!?

Of course, I could go on for days (and days) about the women who inspire me, but this is a short list of women that immediately came to mind.  How about you? Who's inspired you?  What works have changed your perspective in some way?

Happy International Women's Day!

Want to get involved?  Here's a Google list of events celebrating IWD .


  1. I'm sorry to say that of your list, I've only read Lorrie Moore. I've got Cather on my TBR and a collection of her short stories on my shelf, and after your last post about Lorde I've been meaning to check her out.

    Thanks for spotlighting these women writers!

  2. Thanks for the link! I love that you included details about the female authors and given me more people to check out. Must add Moore to my TBR

  3. Brenna- It's ok, that's why I made the list. I totally understand what you're saying though. I'm going to a book store tonight in search of more Moore (weird) titles. I haven't finished Anagrams, which is slightly bizarre and short story meets novel at the midpoint. I'm in love! Lorde is an emotional read-- so be ready!

    Red- Your list was grea, also! I can't praise Moore enough. You must share when you get to her work!

  4. Except for a short story by Lorrie Moore, I haven't read anything by these writers. I do intend to read one of Willa Cather's novels this year, though. If that quote is anything to judge by, I'm going to love her work. :)


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