A Year of Feminist Classics

Because they're better together :)

2011 Reading List

January: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollestonecraft AND So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba – Amy
February: The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill – Ana
March: A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen – Emily
April: Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Iris
May: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf – Ana
June: God Dies by the Nile by Nawal Saadawi – Amy
July: The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir – Iris
August: The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston – Emily
September: The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf – Amy
October: Ain’t I a Woman? by bell hooks AND Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism Anthology – Iris
November: Gender Trouble by Judith Butler – Ana
December: Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde – Emily

66 responses to “2011 Reading List

  1. Pingback: Project: A Year Of Feminist Classics | Iris on Books

  2. christina November 12, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I LOVED A Vindiction when I read it in college. Cannot wait to reread it. (I still have my college copy with my notes. I wonder what my 20-something Self had to say about it.)

    Also, I’ve had Second Sex on my bookshelf forever. Now I will have no excuses to put it off. Can’t wait to participate.

    • amymckie December 4, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      Oh that’s excellent Christina! We’re happy to have you and it would certainly be interesting to see the differences between what you thought then and now!

  3. Pingback: Presenting A Year of Feminist Classics « A Year of Feminist Classics

  4. Yashoda November 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Great choices! I might have added Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing as well…

    • nymeth November 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      Nothing would make us happier than guest posts on some of the books we left out!

    • jane November 12, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      Oh, true…. but that book is LONG!!!! One of my all time favourites though. There are words and phrases from it which float back into my head when I’m not expecting it!

    • ninotchka10 December 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      I’ve had ‘Golden Notebook’ sitting on my shelf for years – it’s such a doorstop. I definitely need some motivation (i.e.. company) to help me get through it. I’m also eager to tackle ‘Middle march’. I’ve attempted it twice but it hasn’t really stuck. (Not the right time?_ I realise it’s not exactly feminist lit but George Eliot a real anti-convention icon.

  5. Pingback: 2011: A Year of Feminist Classics! « Booked All Week

  6. Bookworm Meets Bookworm November 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I’ve read many of these- Audre Lorde being a favorite. I’m really interested in following this throughout the year- as I’m leading a feminist book club starting January, as well, for a leading feminist health center in the Atlanta area. This will give us the opportunity to draw on your groups’ suggestions and share. I’m looking forward to seeing your own analysis of each text! Great idea and thanks for sharing!

    • amymckie December 4, 2010 at 8:39 pm

      That sounds interesting Bookworm Meets Bookworm. I hope the book club goes really great. Speaking of the Atlanta area… I LOVE Charis Books and More 🙂 I wish I was heading back that way soon!

  7. jane November 12, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Wonderful list! I am SO excited! I already have so many of these since I’ve been meaning to read them for ages. I have a feeling this is going to be a really enriching and educational project, as well as fun. Cheers for organising!

  8. Bina November 13, 2010 at 11:12 am

    This is such a great project! 🙂 But it’s so hard to decide on just 12 books isn’t it?

  9. Zee November 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Now that is just mean. All those books are on my tbr. I guess this means I’m in 😀

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  11. jennygirl November 14, 2010 at 3:23 am

    hmmm…never thought of myself as a feminist, but I’m sure trying one of these books can’t hurt. I will at least follow along. Wonderful idea girls!

    • amymckie December 4, 2010 at 8:42 pm

      Jennygirl, we would LOVE to have you follow along. I hope you enjoy at least some of the selections and discussions. And who knows, maybe you will change your mind 🙂

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  13. Laura November 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I’m definately interested! I have several of these books, so I’m in.

  14. chasing bawa November 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I’m reading A Room of One’s Own at the moment and have a few of the titles on my shelf. I would love to join you guys although I don’t think I can do so every month. What a GREAT idea!

    • amymckie December 4, 2010 at 8:43 pm

      I’m glad you’ll be joining for a few months at least chasing bawa, and that you enjoy the idea! (It was all Nymeth who came up with it!! Isn’t she just the best??)

  15. thegirlwiththehair November 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Excellent idea! I’m new to blogging and will be doing this along with a couple other challenges in an attempt to read things I ordinarily wouldn’t. Looking forward to starting!

  16. dragonflyy419 December 2, 2010 at 2:32 am

    Wanted to let everyone know that if you can’t afford all of the actual books I found the following on project gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org) as free e-books:

    A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollestonecraft
    The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill
    A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
    Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

  17. parrish December 20, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Have read the Ibsen, Wolf, and the Beauvoir books, why no Germaine Greer ( The Female Eunuch) surely that must rank highly in the pantheon of Feminist Literature. Will be following with interest.

    • Emily Jane January 2, 2011 at 5:42 am

      We would love to read Germaine Greer, unfortunately there were only so many books we could cram into 12 months! Ah, if only there were more than 24 hours in each day 🙂 I do hope to read it still, though, on my personal blog–perhaps we can have a read-a-long over there some time this year.

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  19. Pingback: Introduction to A Vindication of the Rights of Women by May Wollstonecraft « A Year of Feminist Classics

  20. John January 2, 2011 at 5:32 am

    I am totally stoked on this reading list. The only thing I’d change if I could is reading Undoing Gender by Butler instead of Gender Trouble. But still it’s quiet an excellent list. If my university studies aren’t too intense, I intend to follow along and hopefully join in the discussion!

    • Emily Jane January 2, 2011 at 5:44 am

      Cool John! I’m not experienced with Butler well enough to know the difference between Undoing Gender and Gender Trouble; I only know a bit about Gender Trouble through reading excerpts in college classes, but I’m intrigued. I hope you do have time to follow and discuss!

  21. Nell January 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Hmmm, the problem with reading books in translation is that you often get the wrong impression of the author’s intent and message. For example, the English translation of de Beauvoir’s text has been criticised heavily, particularly for the arbitrary editing decided by the male translator all those years ago. I can’t read French, so I wouldn’t read it in English because I know how it has been rewritten.

    Good blog post about this here: http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2010/03/the_second_sex

    • nymeth January 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      I see your point, Nell, and it really saddens me that both the old and the more recent translation of The Second Sex are dubious. But we really didn’t want to limit ourselves to a strictly Anglo-American perspective, so we have to choice but to take our chances with translations.

      • amymckie January 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm

        Yes, we will take our chance… and hope for the best. I think the discussion about translation issues might actually prove to be an interesting addition as well Nell, at least I hope so 🙂 Interesting how so many books get translated again and again – so why not this one when everyone knows it has issues. Hmm…

  22. Pingback: 2011: het jaar van de feministische klassiekers « De Zesde Clan

  23. Patty January 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Has the person who chose this list of books read them all? I endorse Parrish in her choice of Germaine Greer’s “The Female Eunuch”. Always controversial and very interesting, she wrote this book when the feminist movement was a fledgling, but I don’t know whether it will have stood the test of time, it’s a very long time since I read it…

    • amymckie January 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      Some of us have read one or two of them, but mainly we tried to choose a variety of texts that sounded interesting to focus on Patty. If only there were more months in the year and hours in a day! We may have to keep the project going into 2012 to read more titles 😉

  24. Pingback: 2011 Challenges « chasing bawa

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  28. Jaime Anastasiow February 9, 2011 at 7:37 am


    I wanted to know where to get the code for your badge?

    Thank you.

  29. cathygeagan February 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Oh wow! This sounds great, I am sorry I missed the start of this, I have read one or two myself but I would love to join in from now!

  30. theoriginalevilmac February 15, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    can I get added as a participant, please?

  31. Bookaroundthecorner February 21, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Hi, I found your blog after Caroline’s recommendation (Beauty is a Sleeping Cat)

    Your reading list is very interesting. I loved A Room of One’s Own and The Second Sex. About this one, I wanted to warn you on English translations. I think there are two translations and the first one is abridged and includes mistakes. So you may want to read the 2010 translation, which is faithfull to the original text.

    I’m not good at following challenges but I’m adding you to my blog roll and I subscribed to your blog. I’ll be reading your posts with interest.

  32. Jillian March 21, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Oops! I just read A Room of One’s Own tonight! I forgot it was part of your list. 😦

  33. Pingback: Sense and reason: reading about women « Sinistre and Destre’s noumenal realm

  34. A Damned Conjuror April 25, 2011 at 1:47 am

    I had to study some of Gender Trouble, it certainly is interesting but I don’t think I could be bothered with it again, Butler writes like Heidegger or Lacan or Derrida where you have to read the same sentence over and over again.

    What about The Awakening by Kate Chopin?

  35. Pingback: Book #43: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf « A Room of One's Own

  36. Pingback: Restless Reader » Blog Archive » Literary News & Links – May 6, 2011

  37. aloneinthedesertwith books December 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I am a new blogger and just found you. I love what you are doing and wish Ii’d been around all year. Please continue next year. I can suggest some titles and introduce a book if you’d like.

    Audre Lorde is an important voice shaping how I think, not just on the inclusion of black women, but because she expresses what I feel. As a white woman facing the loss of my breast to cancer, she was the only person whose writings resonated. I like her poems, too,and I am not much of a fan of poetry. “We were never meant to survive” is my favorite–very explicitly black, but how I feel sometimes [If I ever write my autobiography, I may steal her title.]

  38. Pingback: A year of feminist classics « Dr Charlotte Mathieson

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