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A Life in Motion

Florence Howe

The founder of the Feminist Press and one of the first proponents of women’s studies presents a living history of the growth of feminism, especially in academia. Howe began her career teaching at major universities around the U.S. She went on to chair the Modern Language Association and bring women to the forefront in that organization. Next she founded the Feminist Press, which has been publishing feminist writing for more than four decades, and helped organize an international women’s studies network. From her summers in Mississippi where she created a freedom school in the dangerous days of the civil rights movement to her friendships with iconic writers like Marilyn French, Tillie Olsen, and Grace Paley, Howe documents a lifetime of activism.

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Life in the Iron Mills

Rebecca Harding Davis

Life in the Mills is the devastating story of a poverty stricken factory worker in the 19th century, an immigrant to the US from Wales who had hoped for a better life. A true artist, Hugh Wolfe, uses cast offs from the iron mills to fashion statues that depict his hopelessness. When his cousin steals a wallet from a wealthy visitor to the factory in hopes of allowing Hugh the freedom to pursue art, both their lives are destroyed. Rebecca Harding published this story anonymously in the Atlantic in 1861. It won instant fame and is one of the earliest American realist works. It explores factory life in nineteenth century America and is a critique of American capitalism, labor issues and women’s rights.

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The Madame Curie Complex

The Hidden History of Women in Science

Julie Des Jardins

Des Jardins uncovers the stories of prominent women scientists – from Rachel Carson to Jane Goodall to the women of the Manhattan Project—to explore how women often approach science differently than men. She offers insight into the barriers women in science face as well as their successes, and shows how socially defined gender roles have shaped scientific inquiry.

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Mistress of Herself

Speeches and Letters of Ernestine Rose, Early Women's Rights Leader

Ernestine L. Rose

Mistress of Herself is the first definitive collection of speeches and letters from early women’s rights leader Ernestine Rose. Rose was unique among the founders of the U.S. women’s rights movement as a Polish immigrant of Jewish background. Her compelling oratory linked women’s rights, the abolition of slavery and religious freedom. She was an indispensible figure within feminism and the early women’s rights movement and is properly placed among the leaders of American feminism’s first generation.

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On Shifting Ground

Muslim Women in the Global Era

edited by Fereshteh Nouraie-Simone

Has Arab Spring made life better for Muslim women? Has new media brought feminists together, or has it become a tool to organize the opposition? This essential collection is updated with a new introduction and essay, offering an insider view on how Muslim women are navigating technology, public space, secularism/fundamentalism, and citizenship.

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$pread

The Best of the Magazine that Illuminated the Sex Industry and Started a Media Revolution

Edited by Rachel Aimee, Eliyanna Kaiser, and Audacia Ray

$pread, an Utne award–winning magazine by and for sex workers, was independently published from 2005 to 2011. This collection features the enduring essays about sex work around the world, first-person stories that range from deeply traumatic to totally hilarious, analysis of media and culture, and fantastic original illustrations and photographs produced just for the magazine. The book also features the previously untold story of $pread and how it has built a wider audience in its posthumous years. What started as a community tool and trade magazine for the sex industry quickly emerged as the essential guide for people curious about sex work, for independent magazine enthusiasts, and for labor and civil rights activists.

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A Question of Choice

Roe v. Wade 40th Anniversary Edition

by Sarah Weddington

The incredible story of how a twenty-seven-year-old lawyer won Roe v. Wade, and what it means forty years later.

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Rajmahal

Kamalini Sengupta

Marriages, affairs, suicides, murder, madness, and true love – Rajmahal is the story of families brought together in a Calcutta mansion over a century of change. Generations of tenants struggle to come to grips with the social, economic, and intellectual forces working in India as it moves from the British Raj to independence. The personal battles of ex-pats, colonizers, Hindus and Muslims are a mirror of the struggle for possession of the country’s future. “Rajmahal is Sengupta’s Howard’s End.” – Nadine Gordimer

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Rape New York

Jana Leo

Your front door lock is broken and your landlord doesn’t give a damn. And someone gets in and rapes you. Jana Leo’s exploration of the public and private spaces in Rape New York merges the vulnerability of the city with that of the body itself. A text that touches on urban planning, gentrification, slumlords, as well as rape and its physical, emotional, and legal repercussions.

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The Silent Duchess

Dacia Maraini

The Silent Duchess is set in early eighteenth century Sicily and is the story of Marianna Ucria, daughter of an aristocratic family and victim of a mysterious childhood trauma that has left her deaf and mute. Forced to marry her uncle, this novel explores life for women in a culture where arranged marriages and endless childbearing are the norm. After the death of her uncle-husband, Mirianna embarks on a journey of self-exploration, and after uncovering the cause of her disabilities, discovers a sense of autonomy and is able take control of her life.

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