We stand on the shoulders of giants - courageous thinkers and fighters who shaped the landscape of today, our laws and lives. Some of these women live on in legacy, others are still part of shaping tomorrow.
Dita Kraus£9.99 £9.29
The powerful, heart-breaking memoir of Dita Kraus, the real-life Librarian of AuschwitzBorn in Prague to a Jewish family in 1929, Dita Kraus has lived through the most turbulent decades of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Here, Dita writes with startling clarity on the horrors and joys of a life delayed by the Holocaust. From her earliest memories and childhood friendships in Prague before the war, to the Nazi-occupation that saw her and her family sent to the Jewish ghetto at Terezin, to the unimaginable fear and bravery of her imprisonment in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and life after liberation. Dita writes unflinchingly about the harsh conditions of the camps and her role as librarian of the precious books that her fellow prisoners managed to smuggle past the guards. But she also looks beyond the Holocaust - to the life she rebuilt after the war: her marriage to fellow survivor Otto B Kraus, a new life in Israel and the happiness and heartbreaks of motherhood. Part of Dita's story was told in fictional form in the Sunday Times bestseller The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe. Her memoir tells the full story in her own words.
Edna Adan Ismail£9.99 £9.29
Imprisonment. Mutilation. Persecution. Edna Adan Ismail endured it all - for the women of Africa. A Woman of Firsts tells the inspirational story of a remarkable daughter, nurse and First Lady. The indomitable Edna Adan Ismail survived imprisonment, persecution, and civil war to become a pioneering politician, a leading light in the World Health Organisation, and a global campaigner for women's rights. The eldest child of an overworked doctor in the British Protectorate of Somaliland, Edna was the first midwife in Somaliland, she campaigned tirelessly for better healthcare for women and fought for women on a global stage as the first female Foreign Minister of her country. But mixing with presidents and princes, she still never forgot her roots and continued to deliver children and train midwives - a role she has to this day. At 81 years old, she still runs what is hailed as the Horn of Africa's finest university hospital where she trains future generations and still delivers babies. After all - as she puts it - she is simply a midwife.
Ada Salter's pioneering role in the socialist politics of the early twentieth century has, in past accounts of the period, been marginalised in favour of the work of her husband Dr Alfred Salter. Yet years before the 'Bermondsey Revolution' Ada had worked out nearly all of its ideas from her experience in the women's movement and as President of the Women's Labour League. Afterwards, it was Ada on the LCC who spread ground-breaking ideas on urban development all over London and, as Chair of the National Gardens Guild, all over Britain. By foregrounding Ada - more rooted in the movement than her husband - Graham Taylor is better able to explore and interpret 'ethical socialism' and the revolutionary work of this remarkable woman, both previously overlooked. He shows how Ada's experiences as a 'Sister of the People' in the London slums led her to Keir Hardie's ILP, and to the belief that achieving democracy and social justice in Britain required a grassroots alliance between the labour and women's movements. Although other women in the ILP had similar ideas, only Ada actually took political power, implemented her derided 'utopian' ideas, and won elections by huge majorities. Based on original research, including unpublished memoirs, the author argues that successful social revolutions percolate upwards from grassroots activity in local communities to the highest reaches of government. In that way Ada's ethical socialism brought her into alliance with Ramsay Macdonald, Herbert Morrison and Bertrand Russell, and into conflict with Churchill, Asquith and Lenin. Finally, the author shows how the ideas of ethical socialism have now returned to contemporary politics. Finally, the author shows how the ideas of ethical socialism have now returned to contemporary politics, making Ada Salter a remarkable figure of topical historical interest.
Emma Southon£11.99 £11.15
Agrippina the Younger held a unique position in the first Roman imperial family. As great niece of Tiberius, sister of Caligula, wife of Claudius and mother of Nero she stood at the centre of power in the Roman empire for three generations. Even in her own time, she was recognised as a woman of unparalleled power. From exile to being hailed empress, across three marriages and three widowhoods, her life, power and role were extraordinary in their scope and drama. Beautiful and intelligent, she is alternately a ruthless murderer and helpless victim, the most loving mother and the most powerful woman of the Roman empire. She is portrayed in ancient sources as using sex, motherhood, manipulation and violence to get her way, and single-minded in her pursuit of power for herself and her son. Agrippina's life sheds light on the Julio-Claudian dynasty and Rome at its height - the chaos, blood and politics of it all - as well as the place of women in the Roman world. This book follows Agrippina as a daughter, born to the expected heir to Augustus's throne, who was then orphaned, as a sister to Caligula who raped his sisters and showered them with honours until they attempted rebellion against him and were exiled, as a seductive niece and then wife to Claudius who gave her access to near unlimited power, and then as a mother to Nero who adored her until he killed her. She was 44 when she died. It takes us from the camps of Germany during a mutiny, through senatorial political intrigue, assassination attempts and exile to a small island, to the heights of imperial power, thrones and golden cloaks and games and adoration. We will see Agrippina found her own city (Cologne), live up to and then flaunt the greatest ideals of Roman femininity and motherhood, and explore the absolute limits of female power in Rome. The biography of Agrippina is also the biography of the first Roman imperial family - the Julio-Claudians, and of the empire itself.
Peter Lahti, Manal Tamimi, et al.£13.99 £13.01
In December 2017, a video clip went viral. Millions felt they had to watch a strange and uneven dispute. On one side were two male, fully armed, uniformed soldiers, and, on the other, two girls, dressed in every-day clothing. The soldiers belong to an occupation army from a foreign country. The girls tell them to leave the family s garden. But the soldiers refuse to leave. One soldier tries to push away the youngest of the girls, 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi. Ahed reacts quickly, strikes back at the soldier, and slaps him. Four days later, the whole world is shocked to see Ahed sent to a military prison inside Israel, for that slap. When Ahed s mother, Nariman complained, she was arrested and imprisoned too. This is the story of Ahed Tamimi. Who unintentionally, has become a world-wide symbol of self-esteem in the face of oppression. The book also reveals the plight of hundreds of child political prisoners held in Israeli military prisons. Ahed s fate is that of a young Palestinian, but she gives courage and hope to anyone, who, anywhere in the world needs to find the strength to stand up against wrong-doing and call out: Stop! No more! As Ahed herself says: Right now, injustice is happening all across the world. We should extend our struggles to one another in order to end all of the world s injustices. We are all victims of some kind of occupation. We won t let anyone suffer alone.
Alexandra Kollontai inspired generations of socialists in Russia with her pioneering views on sex and the family. A revolutionary activist and writer, she was the only woman in the first Bolshevik government in 1917. This second edition of Cathy Porter's biography draws on newly-published memoirs, diaries and letters to offer fresh insights into Kollontai's stormy political life. It tell of her fight for workers' democracy and women's rights, her love affairs, her disagreements with the Bolshevik party, and her last years 'in exile' as a Soviet diplomat in Norway, Mexico and Sweden.
Hannah Jewell£9.99 £9.29
Sisonke Msimang£11.99 £11.15
Born in exile, in Zambia, to a guerrilla father and a working mother, Sisonke Msimang is constantly on the move. Her parents, talented and highly educated, travel from Zambia to Kenya and Canada and beyond with their young family. Always the outsider, and against a backdrop of racism and xenophobia, Sisonke develops her keenly perceptive view of the world. In this sparkling account of a young girl's path to womanhood, Sisonke interweaves her personal story with her political awakening in America and Africa, her euphoria at returning to the new South Africa, and her disillusionment with the new elites. Confidential and reflective, Always Another Country is a search for belonging and identity: a warm and intimate story, and a testament to sisterhood and family bonds.
Tove Jansson£12.99 £12.08
Zora Neale Hurston£8.99 £8.36
‘Zora Neale Hurston was a knockout in her life, a wonderful writer and a fabulous person. Devilishly funny and academically solid: delicious mixture’ MAYA ANGELOU First published in 1942 at the height of her popularity, Dust Tracks on a Road is Zora Neale Hurston’s candid, exuberant account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural South to a prominent place among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. As compelling as her acclaimed fiction, Hurston’s literary self-portrait offers a revealing, often audacious glimpse into the life - public and private - of an extraordinary artist, anthropologist, chronicler and champion of the black experience in America. Full of the wit and wisdom of a proud, spirited woman who started off low and climbed high: ‘I have been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows with a harp and a sword in my hands.’‘One of the greatest writers of our time’ TONI MORRISON
Rachel Holmes£12.99 £12.08
Alexandra Wilson£16.98 £15.79
Alexandra Wilson was a teenager when her dear family friend Ayo was stabbed on his way home from football. Ayo’s death changed Alexandra. She felt compelled to enter the legal profession in search of answers. As a junior criminal and family law barrister, Alexandra finds herself navigating a world and a set of rules designed by a privileged few. A world in which fellow barristers sigh with relief when a racist judge retires: ‘I’ve got a black kid today and he would have had no hope’. In her debut book, In Black and White, Alexandra re-creates the tense courtroom scenes, the heart-breaking meetings with teenage clients, and the moments of frustration and triumph that make up a young barrister’s life. Alexandra shows us how it feels to defend someone who hates the colour of your skin, or someone you suspect is guilty. We see what it is like for children coerced into county line drug deals and the damage that can be caused when we criminalise teenagers. Alexandra’s account of what she has witnessed as a young mixed-race barrister is in equal parts shocking, compelling, confounding and powerful. ‘An inspirational, clear-eyed account of life as a junior barrister is made all the more exceptional by the determination, passion, humanity and drive of the author. Anyone interested in seeing how the law really works should read it.‘ SARAH LANGFORD
SKIN and Lucy O'Brien£20.00 £18.60
'The former Skunk Anansie singer pulls no punches in this heady trawl through her life from tough beginnings in Brixton to work as an LGBTQ+ activist and beyond' The I Lead singer of multi-million-selling rock band Skunk Anansie, solo artist, LGBTQ+activist and all around trail blazer - Skin is a global icon, and she has been smashing stereotypes for over twenty-five years. Her journey from Brixton to one of the most influential women in British rock is nothing short of extraordinary. 'It's been a very difficult thing being a lead singer of a rock band looking like me and it still is. I have to say it's been a fight and it will always be a fight. That fight drives you and makes you want to work harder... It's not supposed to be easy, particularly if you're a woman, you're black or you are gay like me. You've got to keep moving forward, keep striving for everything you want to be.' Born to Jamaican parents, Skin grew up in Brixton in the 1970's. Her career as an artist began in the '90s, when Skunk Anansie was formed in the sweat-drenched backrooms of London's pubs. Since then she has headlined Glastonbury and toured the world, both as lead singer of Skunk Anansie and as a solo artist. Her success has been groundbreaking in every way, which has come at a personal cost. She has always been vocal about social and cultural issues, and was championing LGBTQ+ rights at a time when few artists were out and gay. Told with honesty and passion, this is the story of how a gay, black, working-class girl with a vision fought poverty and prejudice to write songs, produce and front her own band, and become one of the most influential women in British rock.
Grace Lee Boggs£14.99
No one can tell in advance what form a movement will take. Grace Lee Boggs's fascinating autobiography traces the story of a woman who transcended class and racial boundaries to pursue her passionate belief in a better society. Now with a new foreword by Robin D. G. Kelley, Living for Change is a sweeping account of a legendary human rights activist whose network included Malcolm X and C. L.R. James. From the end of the 1930s, through the Cold War, the Civil Rights era, and the rise of the Black Panthers to later efforts to rebuild crumbling urban communities, Living for Change is an exhilarating look at a remarkable woman who dedicated her life to social justice.
Shirin Ebadi£10.99 £10.22
In this powerful book, Dr Shirin Ebadi, Iranian human rights lawyer and activist, tells of her fight for reform inside Iran, and the devastating backlash she faced after winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Having fought tirelessly for democracy, equality before the law and freedom of speech, Ebadi became a global voice of inspiration. Yet, inside her own country, her life has been plagued by surveillance, intimidation and violence. Until We Are Free tells shocking stories of how the Iranian authorities eventually forced her into exile. Her sister and daughter were detained, her husband was enmeshed in an espionage plot with another woman, her Nobel medal was stolen from her safety deposit box, and her offices in Tehran were ransacked. An illuminating depiction of life in Iran today as well as the account of Ebadi's personal struggle to uphold her work and keep her family together, Until We Are Free is ultimately a work of hope and perseverance under circumstances of exceptional difficulty.
Audre Lorde£9.99 £9.29
If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten aliveA little black girl opens her eyes in 1930s Harlem, weak and half-blind. On she stumbles - through teenage pain and loneliness, but then to happiness in friendship, work and sex, from Washington Heights to Mexico, always changing, always strong. This is Audre Lorde's story. A rapturous, life-affirming autobiographical novel by the 'Black, lesbian, mother, warrior poet', it changed the literary landscape. 'Her work shows us new ways to imagine the world ... so many themes of Audre's work have endured' Renni Eddo Lodge, author of Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race'I came across Audre Lorde's Zami, and I cried to think how lucky I was to have found her. She was an inspiration' Jackie Kay
Marina Abramovic£10.99 £10.22
'Her bravest work of performance art to date . . . Rawly intimate' ObserverThis memoir spans Marina Abramovic's five decade career, and tells a life story that is almost as exhilarating and extraordinary as her groundbreaking performance art. Taking us from her early life in communist ex-Yugoslavia, to her time as a young art student in Belgrade in the 1970s, where she first made her mark with a series of pieces that used the body as a canvas, the book also describes her relationship with the West German performance artist named Ulay who was her lover and sole collaborator for 12 years. Abramovic has collaborated with stars from Lady Gaga to Jay-Z, James Franco and Willem Dafoe. Best known for her recent pieces 'The Artist is Present' and '512 Hours', this book is a fascinating insight into the life of one of the most important artists working today, and the woman who has been described as 'the grandmother of performance art'.
K. A. Lalani£9.99 £9.29
A biography focusing on the life of Amy Johnson, a pioneering English aviatrix and the first female pilot to fly alone from Britain to Australia.
Dana Mills£11.99 £11.15
As an economist and political theorist Rosa Luxemburg's work still resonates powerfully today. Born in Poland in 1871 she became a revolutionary leader in Berlin, co-founding the anti-war Spartacus League and publishing works including Reform or Revolution and The Accumulation of Capital. In this account of her extraordinary life, Dana Mills examines Luxemburg's key and lesser-known works, and quotes from her letters to reveal a woman who was loving in personal relationships and fierce in professional battles. Luxemburg, who lived in grossly unequal times, fought for emancipation for all. What is her legacy today, a hundred years after her assassination in Berlin in 1919 at the age of 47? Luxemburg's emphasis on humanity and insistence on revolution gave coherence, as this compelling biography illustrates, to a fraught life story and a colossal economic and political legacy.
Rosalind Miles£25.00 £23.25
Now it is time for a new women’s history - for more famous, infamous and little-known rebels. We begin with the French Revolution when women took on the fraternite of man, then it’s off to America to round up the rebels fighting side by side for freedom with their men, before heading back to Britain to witness the courage of the suffragettes. From Australia to Iceland, from India to China and from many other countries, we track women who - often at a very high cost to themselves - have stood up to age-old cruelties and injustices. Recording the important milestones in the long march of women towards equality through a colourful pageant of astonishing women, we chart the birth of modern womanhood. Women in sport, women in business, women in religion, women in politics and women in power - all female life is there. We end in the present day thrilled with what women have done - and can and will do. Rebel Women is as brave and as brilliant as its renegades, viragos and heroines.
Sarah McBride and Joe Biden£12.99 £12.08
A captivating memoir that will change the way we look at identity and equality in this country Before she became the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention in 2016 at the age of twenty-six, Sarah McBride struggled with the decision to come out--not just to her family but to the students of American University, where she was serving as student body president. She'd known she was a girl from her earliest memories, but it wasn't until the Facebook post announcing her truth went viral that she realized just how much impact her story could have on the country. Four years later, McBride was one of the nation's most prominent transgender activists, walking the halls of the White House, advocating inclusive legislation, and addressing the country in the midst of a heated presidential election. She had also found her first love and future husband, Andy, a trans man and fellow activist, who complemented her in every way . . . until cancer tragically intervened. Informative, heartbreaking, and profoundly empowering, Tomorrow Will Be Different is McBride's story of love and loss and a powerful entry point into the LGBTQ community's battle for equal rights and what it means to be openly transgender. From issues like bathroom access to health care to gender in America, McBride weaves the important political and cultural milestones into a personal journey that will open hearts and change minds. As McBride urges: "We must never be a country that says there's only one way to love, only one way to look, and only one way to live." The fight for equality and freedom has only just begun.
Kirsty Stonell Walker and Kingsley Nebechi£15.00 £13.95
A fabulous introduction to the Pre-Raphaelite movement, through the muses andartists that helped shape the era
Originally published as La mort ne veut pas de moi in 1997, this book was the first survivor testimony to be published about the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. In 1994 Yolande was an unconventional nurse and mother of three who enjoyed wearing jeans and designer glasses. She ran her own clinic in Nyamirambo and was planning a party for her wedding anniversary. But when genocide started everything changed. Targeted because she was a successful Tutsi woman, she was separated from her family and had to flee for her life. Mukagasana’s gripping memoir describes the betrayal of friends and help that came from surprising places. Quick-witted and courageous, Yolande never lost hope she would find her children alive.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg£12.99 £12.08
The New York Times bestselling book from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg-"a comprehensive look inside her brilliantly analytical, entertainingly wry mind, revealing the fascinating life of one of our generation's most influential voices in both law and public opinion" (Harper's Bazaar). My Own Words "showcases Ruth Ginsburg's astonishing intellectual range" (The New Republic). In this collection Justice Ginsburg discusses gender equality, the workings of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book's sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams, who introduce each chapter and provide biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted. Witty, engaging, serious, and playful, My Own Words is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America's most influential women and "a tonic to the current national discourse" (The Washington Post).
Selma van de Perre£16.98 £15.79
'I am one of few Jewish survivors of World War Two, but one of many Jewish people to fight the Nazi regime. My story illustrates what happened to thousands of Jews and non-Jews alike... the sheer luck that saved some of us and the atrocities that led to the deaths of so many, as a tribute to all those who suffered and died.'Selma van de Perre was seventeen when World War Two began. Until then, being Jewish in the Netherlands had been of no consequence. But by 1941 this simple fact had become a matter of life or death. Several times, Selma avoided being rounded up by the Nazis. Then, in an act of defiance, she joined the Resistance movement, using the pseudonym Margareta van der Kuit. For two years 'Marga' risked it all. Using a fake ID, and passing as Aryan she travelled around the country delivering newsletters, sharing information, keeping up morale - doing, as she later explained, what 'had to be done'. In July 1944 her luck ran out. She was transported to Ravensbruck women's concentration camp as a political prisoner. Unlike her parents and sister - who, she would later discover, died in other camps - she survived by using her alias, pretending to be someone else. It was only after the war ended that she was allowed to reclaim her identity and dared to say once again: My name is Selma. Now, at ninety-eight, Selma remains a force of nature. Full of hope and courage, this is her story in her own words.
Nawal el Saadawi£12.99 £12.08
In1981, the celebrated author and activist Nawal el Saadawi was imprisoned by theSadat regime in her native Egypt, for 'crimes against the state'. Throughhaunting and evocative prose, Saadawi here recounts how she and her fellowprisoners continued to resist even in captivity, and to form a community whichtranscended divisions between secular and religious activists. She reveals boththe harrowing detail and the everyday mundanity of prison life, as well as the braveryand resolve of all women resisting oppression - and of political prisoners aroundthe world. Memoirs from the Women'sPrison is an unforgettable, landmarkwork of prison writing that offers a rare insight into the indomitable, soaringliterary mind of the Arab world's leading feminist.
Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele£9.99 £9.29