I am a retired professor of US women’s history, now living in the desert mountains of far west Texas. I love reading books by both men and women of all nationalities and ethnicities. While theoretically any one can write well about any topic, in reality many writers draw on their own experiences of gender and place. Books by global women of color have long had a special meaning for me.
When I was in grad school, African American women writers, along with various feminists, helped me envision what it meant to be a woman. They gave me alternative visions that allowed me to move beyond the helpless, white lady I had been raised to be. Their stories were central to my teaching and research. Since I have retired, I have expanded my reading to include more Chicana and Native American women and more women of color worldwide. They have taught me much about the world we all share and touched me deeply with the similarities and differences between my life and theirs.
In addition, recent writings by feminists stress the need for solidarity across global boundaries. Many US readers would like to affirm that solidarity, but know little about those whose lives whose are unlike our own. Reading writers who draw on their experiences with other settings is an easy and enjoyable way to learn about and understand why other women have needs and values that conflict with ours.
And, of course, many global women of color are simply excellent writers. I hope you will join me in reading and discussing their books either by joining this challenge or by following this blog.
Thank you for your interest.
Marilyn Dell Brady
“Me, You, and Books” mdbrady.wordpress.com