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Joss and Gold

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

Joss and Gold follows Li An, a Malaysian woman living in post-colonial Malaysia in 1969. After she meets Chester, an American Peace Corps volunteer, she moves to New York with him where she is confronted with the possibilities of being an economically independent woman. This novel explores the paradoxes of an era in which cultures merge and traditions die. It is a feminist manifesto and a commentary on women’s struggles for sexual and social agency in postcolonial Southeast Asia.

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Judas Rose

Written by Suzette Hadin Elgin; Foreword by Julie Vedder

Sequel to the enormously popular Native Tongue, The Judas Rose continues Elgin's gripping vision of a frightening, male-dominated world where the women of Earth are virtually enslaved. Once again, this group of women—and the nonviolent yet transformative power of language—is called upon to challenge Earth's violent, patriarchal order.

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King Kong Theory

Virginie Despentes

With humor, rage, and confessional detail, Virginie Despentes—in her own words “more King Kong than Kate Moss”—delivers a highly charged account of women’s lives today. She explodes common attitudes about sex and gender, and shows how modern beauty myths are ripe for rebelling against. Using her own experiences of rape, prostitution, and working in the porn industry as a jumping-off point, she creates a new space for all those who can’t or won’t obey the rules.

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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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Native Tongue

Written by Suzette Hadin Elgin; Afterword by Susan Squier

First published in 1984, Native Tongue earned wide critical praise and cult status—it is often compared to Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale. Set in the twenty-second century after the repeal of the Nineteenth Amendment, the novel reveals a world where women are once again property, denied civil rights, and banned from public life. In this world, Earth’s wealth relies on interplanetary commerce, for which the population depends on linguists, a small, clannish group of families whose women breed and become perfect translators of all the galaxies’ languages. The linguists wield power, but live in isolated compounds, hated by the population, and in fear of class warfare. But a group of women is destined to challenge the power of men and linguists.

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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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Politics of Women’s Studies

Testimony from the Founding Mothers

Edited by Florence Howe; Introduction by Mari Jo Buhle

Contributions from over 30 "mothers" of women's studies programs document the politics, challenges, and sacrifices in the decades-long fight to create curricula, programs, and legitimacy for women's studies. Barbara Smith, Johnnetta Cole, Yolanda Moses, Kathryn Kish Sklar, Annette Kolodny, and many others tell of their difficult, momentous and only—sometimes—successful battle to claim a place at the table.

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