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Sign Up & Books to Read

Subscribe or follow this challenge or blog on the home page.
Choose your level of commitment:

Structured: Read ten books by Global Women of Color, six of them from six different continents or regions.

Free Form: Read as many or as few books by Global Women of Color as you choose.

Blog: Simply follow and comment.

Leave a comment below saying you are signing up. If you have decided on books to read, you may include them.



  1. Sonia Adams says:

    I would like to sign up for the reading challenge. My area of literary scholarship is transnational ethnic women writers. So it would be a pleasure for me to be part of this endeavor. I would like to commit to the free-form reading Level. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

  2. mdbrady says:

    Here is my tentative list of books I intend to read for this challenge.

    1. Sister of My Heart, by Divakarumi. INDIA US
    2. Create Dangerously by, Danticat, US HAITI
    3. Icarus Girl, by Oyeyemi. ENGLAND NIGERIA
    4. The Story of Zahra, by al-Shaykh LEBANON
    5. Am I Black Enough, by Weiss. AUSTRALIA
    6. Polite Lies, by Kyoka. US JAPAN
    7. Arrogant Years, by Lagnado. US EGYPT
    8. Americanah, by Adichie. Forthcoming NIGERIA
    9. Let the Dead Lie, by Nunn. SWAZILAND
    10. House on Mango Street, by Cisneros. US HISPANIC
    11. Three Strong Women, by Marie Diaye FRANCE NIGERIA
    12. Making Peace with Earth, by Shiva INDIA GLOBAL

    Actually I plan to continue the pattern of reading and reviewing a book by a GWC about every week.

  3. I’d like to sign up for this challenge, please. Free form is probably best for me.
    I have the following books on hand to make a good start:

    The Bathing Women by Tie Ning (Chinese)
    Paradise by Toni Morrison (African American)
    Jazz by Toni Morrison (African American)
    Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigerian)
    Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigerian)
    See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid (Antiguan)
    So Long A Letter – Mariama Ba (Senegalese)
    White Teeth by Zadie Smith (Jamaican British)
    In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner (Cambodian)

    Thank you.

    • mdbrady says:

      Glad to have you. That’s a great list to start out with. You mention several I have heard about but not read and some that are brand new. I look forward to your reviews.

      • Ok … I have actually scheduled books by two women of colour in the next few months: Mexican Valeria Luiselli and Australian Anita Heiss. I am very likely to read more so if this ends up happening I’ll register my reviews! I have over the years read a lot of women of colour – many of whom are listed here. I love to read them.

        • mdbrady says:

          Very good. I set this up so that people like you who didn’t want to commit to a certain number of books could be part of the conversation and commend on the books they have read previously. I hope to read Heiss, but don’t know Luiselli. Thanks for be a part of this.

  4. Heidi Reads says:

    Love the global focus of this. Signing up for “Structured” – I don’t yet have a tentative list, but I’ll be back when I do. (My Australian Women Writers list is 7/10 women of colour and I’ll be counting at least one of those for this as well.)

    Is there a badge for the challenge?

    • mdbrady says:

      Great. Glad to have you. I am working on a badge but so far I am running into copyright issues.

    • mdbrady says:

      I’d love to know which Australian Indigenous writers you are reading.

      • Heidi Reads says:

        Okay, tentative list for this challenge (with no crossovers with AWW!)

        1. Where the Streets had a Name, by Abdel-Fattah – Palestinian/Australian (Middle East/Australia)

        2. That Thing Around Your Neck, by Adiche – Nigeria (Africa)

        3. The Pirate’s Daughter, by Cezair-Thompson – Jamaica (South America)

        4. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, by Erdrich – Ojibwe (North America)

        5. Am I Black Enough For You, by Heiss – Wiradjuri (Australia)

        6. Small Island, by Levy – Jamaica/Black British (UK)

        7. Dead Aid, by Moyo – Zambia (Africa/Global)

        8. The World Unseen, by Sarif – South Africa/India (Africa/Asia/Global)

        9. Her Father’s Daughter, by Pung – Cambodian/Australian (Asia/Australia)

        10. Lovers in the Age of Indifference, by Guo – China (Asia)

        For AWW my indigenous authors are Nicole Watson, Aileen Moreton-Robinson and Anita Heiss. My full post of ten is here: – only Mundell and Porter are white.

  5. doublevez says:

    May I suggest Christine Stark’s book Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation, which is the story of a survivor of incest and homophobia, and also, any other title from her website:

    Stark contributed to Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota. This is online in PDF, and is vital to an understanding of the role of colonisation in First Nations and Native American women’s story:

  6. Ypt says:

    Algerian feminist, I’d like to sign for the challenge, free form level of commitment for me. I don’t yet have a list but I’ll do soon.

  7. mdbrady says:

    Thanks for the suggestion. Those sound like important books.

  8. Eva says:

    This is me signing up! I don’t have a list yet but I shall do one and blog about it!

  9. biblioglobal says:

    I’ll sign up for the structured level. Looking at the books I read for my book-from-every-country project last year, I read 11 books that would qualify from 11 different countries. So I figure I should be able to do that again this year. I don’t have a list per se, but some books I want to read are:
    A Question of Power by Bessie Head (Botswana)
    So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba (Senegal)
    Women of Algiers in their Apartment by Assia Djebar (Algeria)
    In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner (Cambodia)
    I’d love to get suggestions for South American women writers other than Isabelle Allende.

    • mdbrady says:

      That’s great. I share your wish to find suggestions for South American women writers in translation. You can substitute Caribbean ones for this challenge, but I still want to find some from the continent. Any suggestions anybody?

    • Eva says:

      Angeles Mastretta is marvelous! She’s Mexican, so Latin American but not South American. Little Star of Bela Lua was an excellent short story collection by Luana Monteiro, a Brazilian woman. I’ve also read and would recommend A Secret for Julia by Patricia Sagastizabal (Argentinian) and The Ventriloquist’s Tale by Pauline Melville (Guyana, which is on the South American continent but perhaps more Caribbean in culture/history).

    • Liz says:

      What about Gioconda Belli from Nicaragua?

  10. Vasilly says:

    Count me in. I’m signing up for the structured level. I don’t have a list, I’ll probably make one as I go. Thanks for hosting this.

  11. Teresa says:

    I’d love to join. I’ll start with the structured but probably might become free form once I hit 10. I’ve no list yet but when I get my act together and post about this, I’ll update this comment with a list!

    • Teresa says:

      My list:
      Thursday Night Widows-Claudia Pineiro (South America) Argentina
      Infinity in the Palm of her Hand-Gioconda Belli (Central America) Nicaragua
      Dear First Love-Zoé Valdés (Caribbean) Cuba
      Dead Aid-Dambia Moyo (Africa) Zambia
      The Tongue’s Blood Does Not Run Dry-Assia Djebar (Africa) Algeria
      Please Look After Mother-Kyung-sook Shin (Asia) S. Korea
      Lovers in the Age of Indifference-Xiaolu Guo (Asia) China
      Push-Sapphire (North America) African American
      Map of Love-Ahdaf Soueif (Middle East) Egypt
      Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives-Titilola Alexandrah Shoneyin (Africa) Nigeria

  12. mdbrady says:

    Glad to have you. I look forward to your list.

  13. I’d love to sign up! I haven’t finished my list yet, but will post it here when I have. Quick question — is overlap allowed with other challenges? Thanks for hosting this!

  14. […] a comment on the SIGNUP PAGE saying you are signing up. If you have decided on books to read, you may include […]

  15. olduvai says:


    I’d like to sign up for the free form level. My blog post on this challenge can be found here:

    But I’m also adding my list of books below:

    The Lies That Build A Marriage: Stories of the Unsung, Unsaid and Uncelebrated in Singapore – Suchen Christine Lim (Singapore)
    Bombay Time – Thrity N. Umrigar (India – US)
    The Pleasure Seekers – Tishani Doshi (India)
    Forgotten Country – Catherine Chung (Korea – US)
    Inheritance – Lan Samantha Chang (China – US)
    Evening is the whole day – Preeta Samarasan (Malaysia)
    The song of everlasting sorrow : a novel of Shanghai – Wang Anyi (China)
    Grotesque – Natsuo Kirino (Japan)
    Zeina – Nawal El Saadawi (Egypt)
    Mornings in Jenin – Susan Abulhawa (Palestine – US)
    The sand fish : a novel from Dubai – Maha Gargash (Dubai)
    Nervous conditions : a novel – Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)
    So Long a Letter – Mariama Ba (Senegal)
    Mr Fox – Helen Oyeyemi (Nigeria – UK)
    Three Strong Women – Marie NDiaye (Senegal – France)
    Silver Sparrow – Tayari Jones (African-American)
    Lima Nights – Marie Arana (Peru – US)
    Malinche – Laura Esquivel (Mexico)

  16. Niranjana says:

    I’m in! As a free former. No list–I plan to go through my shelves and whittle down Mount TBR.
    Thanks for running this challenge–I’ll share it on my blog too.

  17. Hi Marilyn, please sign me up! I’ll be doing the free form level. I haven’t picked any books, but will at least read something by Meira Chand, and I’ll do a post on the Global Women of Colour challenge too.

    • mdbrady says:

      Great. Who is Meira Chand? I really appreciated your discussion of “Diversity” in the books reviewws for AWW. I looked quickly and couldn’t find your novels available, except for a very high price. Any suggestions for getting ahold of them?

  18. […] the challenge here, you know you want to! Lots of suggestions for books by women of color from all corners of the […]

  19. Susan Hughes says:

    I’m singing up! Thanks for the suggestions!

  20. Melissa says:

    Hi Marilyn. Okay, okay… I’ll stop wandering in and out of this blog like the lurker I am and just officially join already. 😉

    I didn’t want to take on too many official reading commitments this year, but I was planning my Women’s History Month schedule last night and several of the books on that list would qualify for this. That, and it really is a great project.

  21. mdbrady says:

    Thanks for joining and for the welcome praise. Don’t worry. I am not a person who counts books. I am more interested in reading and discussing them. Glad to have some of your reviews here. And thanks for mentioning Women’s History Month. You are way a head of me there. Suggestions welcome.
    By the way, I think you would really like Jennifer Mills, Gone. I reviewed it recently. Gritty, lyrical, Australian.

  22. perkinsy says:

    This is a great initiative Marilyn! I’m looking forward to it. I plan to do the free form challenge. I am particularly interested in reading more histories/memoirs by Australian Aboriginal women and from other Australian women who don’t come from a European background. But I would like to sneak a book or two in from authors who come from other places in the world.

    This challenge is a great way to help all women to gain a louder voice, not just the privileged few.

    • mdbrady says:

      So glad to see you here. Be sure and send in your reviews of Indigenous Australian writers so that others can know about them. If you haven’t read Diane Armstrong’s Empire Day, take a look at it. I found it an interesting portray of post-WWII refuges to Australia, a more minor group in the US than there.

  23. Susan Hughes says:

    If anyone has other suggestions of books they’re planning to read — even ones they haven’t necessarily read yet — I”d appreciate hearing about them as I look forward to the year! Thanks.

  24. Susan Hughes says:

    Wonderful. Thanks. And if anyone has any suggestions of either Malaysian/Cambodian writers, please let me know. I’m travelling to those countries this spring and it’s always a wonderful introduction to a country to read some fiction set there.

  25. Nupur says:

    I’m signing up at the free form level- thanks for hosting this challenge and I’m excited about it.

  26. susanhughesspencer says:

    Can anyone in the group recommend any titles of novels written by Malaysian women, especially novels set in Malaysia? Thanks!

  27. mdbrady says:

    I read and reviewed Joss and Gold, by Shirley Geok-lin Lim, last year. It’s about urban Malaysa. Lim’s autobiography, Among the Moon Faces, which I read long ago, is also good but may be more about her time in the US. Evening is the Whole Day, by Samarasan is on my TBR pile. It looks really wonderful and I am eager to read it. The Garden of the Evening Mist, by Tan Twan Eng is by a man. I just read and reviewed it, learning much about the region and the history that shapes it. I hope this helps.

  28. susanhughesspencer says:

    Thanks so much! I have Evening is the Whole Day next to me and am just about to begin. The other suggestions are very helpful!

    • mdbrady says:

      Just started Evening Is… You’ll learn lots about Malaysia there. And be sure and take rain gear. Enjoy the book and the trip. I look forward to your review. Hope you can get it in this month so you can win a book.

  29. Paula says:

    Great to connect – this is a fabulous initiative! I’ll sign up for Free Form. As am already signed up to (and a contributing ed for 2013) to the Australian Women Writers Challenge, would like to keep number of books/reviews open.

  30. mdbrady says:

    Glad to have you. I really appreciate your contributions to AWW. Be sure to review a book here this month so you will can win a frre book from Spinifex Press.

  31. Liz says:

    I am thrilled with this idea. I think that the free form challenge is probably best for me. I’m particularly interested in books by Muslim women and am going to begin with “The Good Muslim” by Tahmima Anam (Bangladesh). Any suggestions will be welcomed!

    • mdbrady says:

      Glad to have you. I read Anam’s The Golden Age last year and absolutely loved it. I look forward to The Good Muslim. I recently reviewed Minaret, by Leila Aboulela and listed it here. I was also impressed by it. It dealt more explicitly with the value of Islam for a woman than Anam’s book did. Have you read Leila Ahmed’s non-fiction books? She had done an impressive overview of women and Islam as well as a thoughtful autobiography. Both are very readable and highlight women’s experiences. That’s a topic I am exploring also.

  32. Susan Hughes says:

    I recommend THE BUTTERFLY MOSQUE: A YOUNG WOMAN’S JOURNEY TO LOVE AND ISLAM by G Willow Wilson. Not fiction, so I don’t know if it qualifies for this list, but very, very interesting.

  33. I’d like to sign up- I write my own blog on South Asian literature, and as a feminist scholar a large proportion of the books I write about on my blog are by women. I think free-form would be best for me, the next time I read a South Asian book by a woman, I can post it here instead of my own blog.

    • mdbrady says:

      Thanks for signing up. We are glad to have you and look forward to learning more about literature bu women from South Asia. You can continue to post your reviews on your blog and add the information about it here.

  34. kim's scrapbook says:

    Definitely signing up this this
    I am reading books from around the world and this is such a wonderful way to expose myself to more women of colour authors
    Great idea

  35. mdbrady says:

    Glad you have signed up. Maybe the new lists of reviews will suggest something you’d like to read. Or you can learn more about the reviews on the spreadsheet of books reviewed.

  36. buriedinprint says:

    I’m signing up, and I have listed ten books, but I am thinking of them as possibilities, rather than a reading list. Thanks very much for hosting!

  37. Silly me, I’ve just remembered that I read a book by Anita Heiss earlier this year, and plan to read another (by her). I’ll have to go free form … I do hope to read more GWC women this year but it really depends.

  38. mdbrady says:

    Don’t feel pressured, but we’d be glad to have any that you do read. I am curious as to what you think of Heiss’s memoir.

  39. Tarla Kramer says:

    Thought I would have a go too. Have completed the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge not long ago, and with only half a year left I am definitely going to opt for the free form thing. Have something of Isabel Allende, Maya Angelou, and Laura Esquivel in unread pile plus a few library books. Will review what I can.

    • mdbrady says:

      Thanks. We are glad to have you.

      • Tarla Kramer says:

        The year is nearly over and I have failed to ready any of the above, so just thought I’d better withdraw from the challenge, sorry about that.

        • mdbrady says:

          Don’t worry about not having found time and energy to read. I was just looking over last year’s Global Women of Color and went back to your blog. I read all the way through it and was very touched by it. Yes, I too live in a semi-arid place much like yours–a desert half a world away–and at times the place seems right for healing or at least befriending, my long-lasting griefs. And somehow for me, trying to grow a few plants here–flowers even–is an appropriate part of that process. But it takes time and will surprise you when it reappears.
          May you find peace and joy at least some of the time.

  40. Diana Silva says:

    Please sign me up:)

    • mdbrady says:

      Thanks for signing up. You can books and reviews in the comments on this page and on the 2013 reviews page. I hope you find something you like. And do send in any reviews of books by women of color.

  41. Iruke says:

    Please sign me up

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