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Turning a page with some good reads to help celebrate Women’s Day

Staff from Victoria’s Russell Books give their top five book picks
Author Helen Knott and her memoir, which conveys insights into Knott’s experience of being ensnared by an abusive and addictive lifestyle, and the profound impact it had on her life. (Helen Knott)

Want to know which books you can read to celebrate International Women’s Day? We asked Russell Books to give us some ideas.

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf is a groundbreaking essay that addresses the status of women in literature and society. Despite being published in 1929, it still holds weight today, especially for women who are in creative fields. It’s considered a key work of feminist literary criticism and can offer many insights into the journeys that women have gone through to create art.

A #1 New York Times Bestseller, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly is set amid the civil rights movement. It tells the powerful, never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program. For those who want a phenomenal account of overcoming discrimination and breaking past barriers, this one’s for you.

When author, political activist, scholar and leader Angela Davis first published Women, Race and Class, she didn’t see herself as a feminist icon. “I’m not a feminist, I’m a revolutionary black woman,” she said. At the time, feminism was still a predominantly white women’s movement, and Davis just did not see herself in it. Over the past few decades, she has become one of many who have redefined the goals of feminism and this 1981 book plays an important part in that. Containing a Marxist feminist analysis of gender, race and class, it’s a concise exploration of intersectionality, looking at how social categorizations have created systems of discrimination and disadvantage.

Within In My Own Moccasins by Helen Knott, the successful Indigenous author lays bare what lies behind her accomplishments, offering a different perspective on her life that many would not see. This is a memoir of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the lasting wounds of sexual violence but it’s also a story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, and reclaiming one’s spirit.

Lastly, Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other shows love for modern British and Black womanhood. Following twelve very different characters who are mostly women, Black and British, this contemporary novel explores a wide range of ideas on what it means to be a woman.

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Sam Duerksen

About the Author: Sam Duerksen

Since moving to Victoria from Winnipeg in 2020, I’ve worked in communications for non-profits and arts organizations.
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