Is This the Great Summer of the Feminist Memoir?

Yes. Yes it is. I’m willing to fight anyone who says otherwise (but only with words—I have the upper body strength of a baby bird). This summer has been, and still will be, filled with an incredible line up of feminist memoirs, both inspiring and intersectional.

The authors on this list include actors and activists, the daughter of deported immigrants, a teen who escaped ISIS sex slavery and a transgender girl fighting for her community. These women show us exactly why intersectional feminism is so important, and the diversity of their stories, some hilarious and others tragic, provide a panoramic view of what life can be like for those of us who identify as women.

Here are some of the greatest memoirs of the summer, for when you’d like a little feminism with your sunglasses and flip flops.

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero

Best known for her roles on Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, Diane Guerrero tells the story of how her worst nightmare came to life. When she was only 14, Guerrero, who was born in the U.S., came home from school to find that her undocumented parents had been arrested by immigration officers and would be deported back to Colombia.

An average of 17 children per day are placed under government care after their parents are detained or deported, according to Guerrero. Some children, however, like Guerrero, are completely ignored by the government and left to fend for themselves. In her book, Guerrero aims to share the story of such children and address the psychological effects of having one’s family torn apart by deportation.

The Girl Who Escaped ISIS by Farida Khalaf

The Girl Who Escaped ISIS, to be released on July 17, shares the unimaginable and courageous story of Farida Khalaf who was kidnapped by ISIS at 18-years-old. In 2014, Khalaf’s small village in northern Iraq was targeted by ISIS. They killed her father and brother and sold Khalaf and the other women at a market like animals.

After being beaten and raped by her captors, Khalaf engineered an escape and led five other girls to freedom in the Syrian desert. She eventually reunited with her family in a refugee camp, but was stigmatized by her own community for what she suffered and emigrated to Germany like one million other refugees fleeing violence.

Sex Object by Jessica Valenti

Author of Full Frontal Feminism and The Purity Myth and creator of Feministing.com, Valenti’s memoir documents the sexism and objectification women face on a daily basis and how those interactions shape women over time. Valenti’s sequential account of all the harassment just one woman can face in a lifetime, coupled with reactions of blame and assumptions, shows how damaging such behavior can be and why efforts to fight sexism are so important, both on a global a personal level.

Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West

Currently a columnist for The Guardian, West has also written for Jezebel, The New York Times and Vulture and spends a remarkable amount of time dealing with harassment from internet trolls who think women, particularly opinionated and confident ones like West, should keep their mouths shut. In a limited way, that’s what this book is about.

West’s memoir confronts the realities of being a fat women with loud opinions who refuses to back down in the face of hate and sexism, and the effects that has on a person. While those realities are undoubtably hard to take, West writes with the biting humor that fans of her work at Jezebel will greatly appreciate. This book demonstrates that activism, while valuable work, often comes at a high personal cost.

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings

At five years old, Jazz Jennings became one of the youngest people diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Thanks to loving and accepting parents, Jazz was able to transition from male to female very young and has been been a public advocate for transgender people pretty much ever since.

Her memoir shows readers what it’s like to be one of the most prominent and youngest voices advocating for transgender rights and how public advocacy is shaping the way people view the transgender community. Despite her positive outlook, Jazz has faced discrimination, harassment and even threats simply for being herself.

The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

First a beloved feminist comedy show, then a high-grossing romantic comedy, Amy Schumer is now gracing devoted fans with a collection of hilarious and extremely personal essays. Anyone counting down the days until the next season of Inside Amy Schumer will not be disappointed with Schumer’s stories of romance, family, sex and growing up that shaped her into the hilarious feminist voice we can’t really get enough of.

In addition to the self-deprecating humor we’re used to, Schumer shares an emotional, vulnerable side that will likely only endear her to fans even more. The only downside is they’ll have to wait until August 16 to snag a copy.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

57 comments

John B
John B7 months ago

Thanks Lauren for sharing. Interesting.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven8 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Cabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Teresa Antela
Teresa Aabout a year ago

Seems I'll have some more good books to read when they arrive here in Portugal.

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ROBYBOYCOTTCINA M.
ROBERTO Mabout a year ago

EXTREME SITE PROBLEMS

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Karen H.
Karen Habout a year ago

Sounds like some good books coming out! I'm currently working on a book about crones - you know, post-menopausal women revered for their knowledge, wisdom and experience.

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Janet B.
Janet Babout a year ago

Thanks

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Danuta Watola
Danuta Wabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing

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Janis K.
Janis Kabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Janet B.
Janet Babout a year ago

Thanks

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