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What powerful and moving books about women's experiences do you recommend?

(28 Posts)
Scarletohello Thu 06-Feb-14 15:25:27

For me two of the best books I have read are;

The good women of China by Xinran - a powerful and moving account of the experienced of women living in China

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera - shocking account of a young Seikh girl running away to escape a proposed forced marriage and then setting up a helpline for other potential victims

trice Thu 06-Feb-14 19:43:25

I enjoyed Wild Swans and the Maya Angelou autobiographies.

msmoss Thu 06-Feb-14 19:46:11

The immortal life of Henrietta Lack is an interesting read, although it's not so much about her life as about her legacy.

waterlego Thu 06-Feb-14 19:46:58

The Red Tent was wonderful, I thought.

SirChenjin Thu 06-Feb-14 19:49:39

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs.

SsimTee Sun 23-Mar-14 16:40:11

A walk across the sun by Corban Addison

joanofarchitrave Sun 23-Mar-14 16:56:04

Not sure if you mean fiction, nonfiction or both.

Wild Swans
Testament of Youth

I loved Frost in May when I read it in my late teens but haven't read it again since.

The Bell Jar
The Cazalet Chronicles
The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate
Jane Eyre

MinesaBottle Thu 27-Mar-14 17:44:53

Dancing to the Precipice by Caroline Moorehead - the life of a woman who was nobility in 18th century France, lived through the Revolution and ended up living a pioneer life in America. Really enjoyed it.

Also Factory Girls by Leslie Chang about the experiences of young Chinese women who've migrated to the city.

hackmum Sat 29-Mar-14 21:05:46

If we're talking about nonfiction, then I definitely recommend Lorna Sage's autobiography, Bad Blood. Fiction - well, there's loads, but I remember loving Doris Lessing's Martha Quest series of books when I was younger.

Onykahonie Tue 08-Apr-14 21:46:44

I've read Shame, and would recommend Reading Lolita in Tehran and Zoya's Story: A Woman's Struggle for Freedom in Afghanistan. Not as gritty, but I also enjoyed: A Beginner's Guide To Acting English by Shappi Khorsandi

Llareggub Tue 08-Apr-14 21:47:57

Maya Angelou's books really moved me as a teen.

CuriousOranj Tue 08-Apr-14 21:50:54

Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker.

MadamBatShit Tue 15-Apr-14 17:17:09

I just recommended Emma Goldman on the Russian revolution thread. My Fife, her autobiography, is good. fascinating life.
Phoolan Devi the bandit queen of India is impressive.
The Bell Jar of course.
Yes to Maya Angelou.

Oriana Fallaci's A Man is a great book about Alexandros Panagoulos, which is a lot about herself as well. She was a controversial figure but that book is something alright.

CaptWingoBings Tue 15-Apr-14 17:23:47

The Midwife's Tale about New England 18th century midwife Martha Ballard.

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 15-Apr-14 17:24:26

Swimming to Antarctica -Lynne Cox
Castaway, Runaway and Faraway -all by Lucy Irvine
Out of Iran-Sousan Azadi
Not without my daughter - Betty Mahmoody
On foot through Africa - Ffyona Campbell
A hard days summer-Alison Hargreaves

I have just started reading Wild by Jay Griffiths and it looks very promising.

milkwasabadchoice Tue 15-Apr-14 17:26:21

The golden notebook by Doris Lessing

Creole Sun 27-Apr-14 22:07:44

Escape by Carolyn Jessop, from the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. Brilliant read!

FreeSpirit89 Sat 10-May-14 14:32:38

I actually enjoyed "paying for it" one woman's account of being a prostitue. It doesn't glamourise it like secret diary did, it gives you the story of a divorced woman with 3 kids and no income to keep there house.

Postchildrenpregranny Wed 17-Dec-14 21:03:52

The Dove Keepers (bit like The red tent) Alice somebody..(fiction)
Irene Nemirovsky's books -one being filmed
Testament of Yourh and the two sequels
Wild Swans
Memories of a Geisha (fiction)
Once in a house on fire . .A cut above the usual misery memoir

ChlorinePerfume Mon 29-Dec-14 17:54:58

Strong woman by Karen Brady seems to be getting good reviews. It is on Kindle for £1.99 at the moment.

MehsMum Sun 11-Jan-15 19:56:50

A Midwife's Tale: the Life of Martha Ballard based on her Diary, by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.
If you like historical stuff, this is just ace. Midwife, Maine, c1800.
My SIL has my copy and I am missing it badly...

Figmentofmyimagination Sat 14-Mar-15 17:31:59

Giving up the ghost by Hilary mantel

MaitreKarlsson Sat 14-Mar-15 23:45:30

Personal History by Katharine Graham. She was the formidable publisher of the "Washington Post" at the time of the Watergate Affair. But in the book she describes her wealthy, privileged but subservient upbringing, where she wasn't expected to have a career, rather to marry well; her marriage to a brilliant and charismatic man who was gifted the "Post" by her father; and her rise to become the publisher of the newspaper after her husband's suicide. I've re-read it several times...still love it.

ASAS Sat 14-Mar-15 23:55:04

Brick Lane

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me

My 100 Children

Gone Girl (just a good read, beautifully written, Amy is awful)

The Color Purple

silversixpence Thu 26-Mar-15 18:11:27

Just read Her ladyship's girl by Anwyn Moyle which was fascinating.

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