I have decided not to continue sponsoring this website.  I will keep it up because I believe it is a useful resource for people wanting to know about books written by global women of color, but I will not add to it.

I will continue to read these important books and review them on my personal blog, Me, you and Books at mdbrady.  I will label them as GLOBAL WOMEN OF COLOR so that you can find them easily by searching for that category.  My lists of favorite books and books read for challenges will also include many of them.

Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this site.

Publishers of Indian Women Writers


Zubaan is an independent non-profit publishing house. It grew out of India’s first Feminist publishing house, Kali for Women. Founded by Urvashi Butalia, who was co-founder of Kali for Women, Zubaan was set up to specifically continue Kali’s work. Zubaan, has inherited half the backlist of Kali so that reprints of many backlist titles are assured.  The word ‘Zubaan’ comes from Hindustani and means, literally, tongue, but it has many other meanings, such as voice, language, speech and dialect.


I just discovered this feminist press in New Delhi and I am excited about the books they publish.  Their books include novels and short stories, autobiographies, nonfiction and scholarly research and children’s books.  They also republish classic writing by Indian women.

They define themselves as a feminist press and have a broad understanding of what this feminist perspective means. To them, and to me, feminism is a worldview rather than a label to be attached or a cause to be supported. They explicitly refuse to publish direct endorsements of globalization, violence, militarism or pornography. They publish individuals who do not necessarily consider themselves feminists in a personal sense whose work is woman-centered. The result is a wide range of books that focus on women, including some scholarly research of little studied groups.

Elen at southasiabookblog recently posted the information that Zabaan books would be available as ebooks; making them much easier for those of us not in India to acquire.  When I went to their site, I didn’t see that this has happened.  I was still impressed by the books they publish, and grateful to Elen for telling me about the press. Looking over the titles I am eager to read some of their books
Here are a sampling of ones that I found tempting:





Saudi Women Writers

Seven Saudi Women Writers in Translation,  by mlynxqualey

The appearance of a new series called, “Alice in Arabia,” on a major American TV network lead mlynxqualey, to address an ongoing issue about ethnic literature on her blog, Arab Literature (in English).

Perhaps the most cringe-worthy part of ABC Family’s announcement was its creator’s apparent assertion that she had written the show not just for the fame and fortune (a motive we can all understand), but “to give Arabs and Muslims a voice on American TV.”

To state the obvious, suggesting that a military cryptologist (or university Arabist, or Arabic-speaking social worker, or itinerant blogger) can “give Arabs and Muslims a voice” certainly suggests that these aforementioned Arabs and Muslims cannot quite make intelligible sounds on their own.

 Criticizing “Alice in Arabia” is not to say that non-Arabs and non-Muslims shouldn’t write Muslims and Arabs into their fictions.  Our worlds are inextricably entangled, and thus we should show up in one another’s imaginations.

Leaving others to rehash the old arguments, Qualey’s response was to list writings by Saudi women that have been translated into English and available to a range of readers.  Some excerpts of their writing can be found free online.

 Go to her article here.

 Check out her suggestions:

Fawzia Abu Khaled (1959 – present). Although poetry probably can’t be turned into an ABC Family show, poems by the remarkable Abu Khaled — lauded by Adonis, among others — can nonetheless be found in Mothers and Daughters in Arab Women’s Literature and in Gathering the Tide.

Dr. Aisha Al Mana and Dr. Hissa Al Sheikh. Their book, which documents the first demonstration to lift the ban on Saudi women driving on November 6th, 1990, is being translated by Saudi (female) blogger Eman al-Nafjan, who has posted an excerpt on her blog.

Eman al-Nafjan, who blogs in English at, is another Saudi woman writer worth reading. Perhaps she could also do a screenplay.

Badriyah al-Bishr (1967-present). Al-Bishr’s latest novel, Love Stories on al-Aisha Street, was longlisted for the 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction. One of her short stories is in Voices of Change: Short Stories by Saudi Arabian Women Writers, along with work by Jamilah Fatani, Najat Khayyat, Jamilah Fatani, Rajaa Alem, and others.

Leila al-Johani (1969-present). Critic Fakri Saleh writes that “Two female Saudi writers took the responsibility to experiment with style – Rajaa Alem and Laila Al-Johani.” Read an excerpt from her novel Jahiliyatrans. Piers Amodia. The full novel is forthcoming, in translation, from BQFP.

Rajaa Alem (1970-present). Alem has co-translated two of her novels (Fatima: A Novel of Arabia and My Thousand & One Nights: A Novel of Mecca) with Tom McDonough. Her International Prize for Arabic Fiction-winning novel The Dove’s Necklace, trans. Adam Talib and Katherine Halls, should be forthcoming any moment now from Duckworth.

Rajaa Al-Sanea (1981-present) Al-Sanea’s only novel, Girls of Riyadh, published in Arabic in 2005 and English in 2007 (somewhat controversially, because of translation issues), has been extremely popular and has been credited with starting a new wave of Saudi girl-lit. No excerpt from Girls of Riyadh immediately apparent online, just a few quotes on Goodreads. Actually, now that I think of it, perhaps Girls of Riyadh could lend itself to an ABC Family TV show….

mlynxqualey | March 22, 2014 at 6:


Yesterday I saw a tweet requesting suggestions for fantasy books by people of color. When I couldn’t limit myself to a tweet, I decided to post my recommendations here.

 Ghost Bride, by Yangsze Choo

Swan Book and Carpentaria, by Alexis Wright

The Best of All Possible Worlds, by Karen Lord.

Women without Men, by Shahrnush  Parsipur

Zahrah the Windseeker, by Nnedi Okorafor.

Although this is a blog about Global Women, I have to also include Grass Growing, Water Running by Thomas King.

Other women of color who regularly write fantasies and speculative fiction.

Isabel Alende

Nalo Hopkinson

Octavia Butler

 In addition, I wrote a blog about how fantasy by people of color can be unique.  Read it here.

For the last two years Aarti has hosted A More Diverse Universe, a time for reading and sharing such books. You can find her blog here.  She will have other suggestions.

Readers:  What other suggestions can you add?

Reading African Women Writers, 2014.

Reading African Women Writers, 2014.

Many bloggers have been important in leading me to books by African women. Kinna @ KinnaReads is the blogger I rely on most.  She is particularly knowledgeable about African literature.  Last month she offered a list of 12 books which she suggests as a syllabus for a hypothetical university course titled Introduction to African Women Writers All the books are fiction,  the list is regionally representative, and provides a good breadth of themes.

1.    Distant View of a Minaret, by Alifa Rifaat

2.    Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami

3.    July’s People by Nadine Gordimer

4.    Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

5.    No Sweetness Here and Other Stories by Ama Ata Aidoo

6.    On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe

7.    Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie

8.    So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba

9.    The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta

10.The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna

11.Tropical Fish: Tales from Entebbe by Doreen Baingana

12.Women of Algiers in Their Apartment by Assia Djebar

I have read and reviewed half of them in the past two years. Some of them are favorites of mine, too. The links are to my reviews.  I also read and loved The Joys of Motherhood years ago. Recently I did read and review another of Emechata’s books, The Bride Price, as well as write a response to those who consider it feminist.  I plan to read the books that I haven’t read for her Africa Reads 2014 Challenge if I can get copies of them.

From the perspective of a white American and a relative newcomer to African women writers, I’d like to supplement Kinna’s list with a couple of additional suggestions.

1.    Half a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Adichie.  A story taking place in the Biafra war for independence and one of the best books I have read about women in civil war.

2.    Americanah, by Chimamanda Adichie.   A international story of a Nigerian woman who lives for a time in the USA.   Americans should read this description of race in our country.

3.    Ghana Must Go, by Taiye Selasi.  Another international novel, a lyrical story about a family of African migrants striving for success and never being successful enough.  Appropriate for all of us who strive.

More suggestions for Global Women of Color

More Suggestions for Global Women of Color

Since I posted the new “Booklists and Reviews” page last week, others have offered, or I have found, some extremely useful lists.  I will add these to that page.  Do keep the suggestions coming.

Last year for GWC Teresa @ Reading like I’m feasting created a booklist of Latin American Women Writers available in English.

Another fine source for African American women is Melissa Harris Perry’s Black Feminist Syllabus.

South Asian Women’s Network also has an extensive list of South Asian Women Writers. 

I have also had suggestions for particular books that individuals recommend.

Any of Chitra Divakaruni’s books. India
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.
Someone Else’s Garden by Dipika Rai.
We Need New Names, by No Violet Bulawayo. Africa
Carpentaria, by Alexis Wright.  Australian Indigenous
My Place, by Sally Morgan. Australian Indigenous
Americanah, by Adichie.  Nigeria and USA
The Bone People, by Keri Hulme. New Zealand Indigenous
Dogside Story, by Patricia Grace. New Zealand Indigenous

Recreating Global Women of Color, 2014

The recent wave of talk about reading books written by women convinced me to expand Global Women of Color instead of reducing it.  I want it to become a general source that brings together information about this important group of writers.  I  have restructured the site and added to it.  Here are the two new pages.


Sign up to follow GWC.

Start browsing the books suggested on the GWC page for Book Lists and Reviews.  Feel free to comment on the lists and reviews of others.

Read one or more books by Global Women of Color.

If you read some books by Global Women of Color, please, list your reviews here.

I am also creating a Blogroll  so that people who care about reading books by Global Women of Color can get in touch with each other.  If you want to be included, leave a comment here with your blog address.

If you like Challenges,  set up your own involving Global Women of Color.  I hope some of you would read and review books by women from of a particular region or country.   Share what you plan to do in a comment.

As this site grows, I would like to create pages for Books from/about Different Places.  I will need some help, especially for areas under-represented in the GWC posts such as Canada and the Far East.   For now, add suggestions as comments and I will assemble pages.

However you choose to participate, feel free to take a GWC Button for your own blog.

Whatever your choices, I hope you will read and enjoy some of the wonderful books by the women whose books are featured here.


Lists of Suggested books

Year of Reading South Asian Women

Year of Reading Arab Women

Bibliglobal year of Reading (Global) Women

Marilyn Brady’s Reading Global Women of color

Suggestions from others. Links are to those I have read and reviewed.

Any of Chitra Divakaruni’s books. India
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.
Someone Else’s Garden by Dipika Rai.
We Need New Names, by No Violet Bulawayo. Africa
Carpentaria, by Alexis Wright.  Australian Indigenous
My Place, by Sally Morgan. Australian Indigenous
Americanah, by Adichie.  Nigeria and USA
The Bone People, by Keri Hulme. New Zealand Indigenous
Dogside Story, by Patricia Grace. New Zealand Indigenous

2014 GWC Reviews Spreadsheet
This is where new reviews are assembled.  I will occasionally sort and post lists from here.

2013 GWC Reviews Final List
Books reviewed last year, listed alphabetically by title, along with authors, reviewers, and comments by reviewers.

2013 GWC Reviews Arranged Regionally
Books by location, as named by reviewers.  I plan to arrange these more systematically soon.

MDB 20112 Reviews
My reviews of books by Global Women of Color before I started this blog.

SOURCES which frequently review and suggest books by Global Women of Color.
Some are also useful sources of information about the authors themselves.

Belletrista: Celebrating Women Writers around the Globe.  A wonderful review journal about new and old books be women globally.  It seems to have stopped publishing, but its archives are full of reviews and suggestions of books that deserve our attention.

Voices from the Gap, created by the University of Minnesota English Department, is a website devoted to making available books and other resources by and about women writers of color worldwide.

Feminist presses like Spinifex, Inanna, Aunt Lute and Feminist Press have all made it a priority to publish books by women globally. Their catalogues are full of books by women of color.  If you cannot find them locally, you can order directly often getting ebooks which eliminate international shipping charges.

The Australian Women Writers  and South Asian Women Writers are both reading challenges listing books by women writers from those regions.

Since my own ability to buy books is limited, I often rely on cheap sources like Paperback Book Swap and Better World Books.   Both have surprising offering of used books by Global Women of Color.

BLOG ROLL:  Bloggers who often read and discuss books by Global Women of Color.  Check their categories and indexes for particular books, authors, and geographical locations.

Kinna Reads.  Kinna hosts a challenge about African books and offers helpful lists and suggestions.

A Striped Armchair Eva is a wise reader and reviewer who reads vociferously.

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog  Lisa has fine reviews of international books by an Australian woman.  Hosts an Indigenous Writing Week.

Biblioglobal.  A project to read books from every country often books by women.

Me, You and Books  Marilyn’s general book blog.