Le Mill Recommends: Powerful Reads by Inspirational Women Authors

Why should we all be feminists? Female authors, for decades, have been addressing this political statement by breaking the rules of patriarchy through their thought-provoking ideologies on women empowerment and equality. From celebrated works of fiction to exceptional memoirs to unforgettable non-fiction, we’ve rounded up a list of awe-inspiring literary titles that will spark your inner activist and leave you with impactful lessons for life.

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

This coming-of-age story by Abi Daré will transport you into Adunni’s life, a fourteen year old girl from a rural Nigerian village who wants nothing more than an education, but instead is sold to be a third wife of a local man and bear his heir. Written in the vernacular, this authentic book is a glimpse into an overpowering patriarchal society of forced marriages, sexual inequality, and domestic slavery in Nigeria. This emotional read will take you through Adunni’s heart-breaking struggles of finding her “louding voice” - the ability to stand up for herself and her future.

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

The Moment of Lift is an uplifting and educational book in which Melinda Gates, a philanthropist and co-chair of the world’s largest charitable foundation, shares her philosophy behind gender equity and equal opportunities. This is the first time Gates opens up about her personal journey and guides us through various soul-striking conversations and explorations that helped empower women around the globe. Compelling and motivating, this book is a reminder that only by involving women, you can lift a society up.

The Young and the Restless by Gurmehar Kaur

Gurmehar Kaur, the radical student activist and author, voices the political anxiety of the future generations of India through her new book. Through each chapter, Kaur follows the journey of eight youth leaders, their ideologies and aspirations for themselves and our nation. Running through the book is the central question of whether these new age politicians will adopt progressive leadership qualities and attune to the youth they represent or will just continue to imitate older political leaders. If knowing about India’s political agenda on your agenda, Kaur’s pop-politic book is here to give you some invaluable insights.

Sex and Lies by Leïla Slimani

The internationally acclaimed, Moroccan-born, Paris-based author, Leïla Slimani is known for her bestselling novels: Lullaby and Adèle. Her latest non-fiction work, Sex and Lies, is a series of essays that address how the archaic laws of the Arab culture allows women to have only two sexual identities: a wife or a virgin. Read Sex and Lies for Sliman’s unravelling of real-life anecdotes of young Moroccan women and the identity crisis they continue to experience in today’s repressing society.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

We all know Michelle Obama as the first African American to serve as the First Lady of America, but we all did wonder about her life before the White House. Michelle Obama’s Becoming takes you through her childhood in Chicago, education at Harvard, her career as an attorney and her fascinating journey of falling in love and becoming the First Lady. It is impossible not to feel inspired and fearless after reading Becoming, a powerful memoir by one of the most iconic women of our era. Don't forget to catch a glimpse of the Former First Lady interviewing Barack Obama in the first episode of her awaited podcast.

This Is What I Know About Art by Kimberly Drew

The curator, activist and arts writer, Kimberly Drew, also known as museummammy, published her debut book as a part of the Pocket Change Collective - a series of small books written by pioneers in the world of art and activism. The book - This Is What I Know About Art is not just a lesson on art history but a manifesto to challenge and reconstruct the current whitewashed art world. Drew uses her powerful voice to articulate the lack of diversity and representation in museums and public institutions. If you have been educating yourself on the Black Lives Matters Movement, Drew’s book is a must-read creative resource encouraging you to celebrate more BIPOC artists.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

The winner of the 2019 Man Booker Prize - Girl, Woman, Other is a collection of interconnected nuanced stories disclosing the contemporary Black Womanhood. Lamenting this invisibility of Black British women, Evaristo through her 12 fictional protagonists of different social and cultural backgrounds, addresses issues of race, inequality, patriarchy, sexuality and otherness. Humorous and thoughtful, Evaristo’s polyphonic novel is a must-read for unapologetic feminists who counter the existing patriarchal culture.