Today I thought I would join up the two usual Thursday themes : Grad School and Bookish. Today, I’m talking about books I should have read in university and that are clearly missing from my feminist bookshelf.
If you’ve caught a look at my About page, you’ll know that I studied Women, Writing and Gender at the postgraduate level at the University of St Andrews. The first ‘Gender & Sexuality in Literature’ class I took back in the fall 2009, was life changing! It opened my eyes to so many topics and debates. From that point on, I wrote gender and sexuality readings for every other class I took. That is the reason I looked into continuing that subject in graduate school. My year in St Andrews also changed me immensely and I finished my academic path (for now) by writing a dissertation on gender performance in the performing arts (mainly ballet). I know I know, it might sound boring to you, but I was fascinated and so happy that I pinpointed that focus for my independent work.
Anyhow, moving on! As you can tell, I have a good background in feminist literature, whether by interest or classroom obligation, but there are books that I find are missing from my education. Here are 4 of them (in alphabetical order):
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The first time I heard about The Bell Jar, I was entering high school and far from being entertained at the idea to read a book in English (I do come from a French/Spanish household!). It seemed so serious and boring. Anyhow, years and years later, I heard about it again and I was now interested. It seems so harrowing and I really want to take the time to read it.
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
You know what? This book was recommended to me by one of the partners at the accounting firm I was working at. I had been working there on a seasonal basis for the past I-don’t-know-how-many years and when I came back in February, one of the partners sat me down to know how I was going, how my masters went, etc etc. He’s the sweetest! He then recommended the Feminine Mystique to me. It was strange, but sure I listened! Then the other day I rewatched 10 Things I Hate About You and this book was mentioned, so weird! I would definitely want to give it a try now!
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
This text came into discussion on many occasions during my time studying WWG, whether in or out of the classroom. The most amazing/life changing seminar I ever took was about Derrida, and for some reason, the professor kept mentioning this story by Atwood. I’ve also seen it on a few lists of good feminist reads, so I’ll get my hands on it soon!
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
I’m kind of fascinated by Simone de Beauvoir and I’ve been hearing of The Second Sex for many years. A male friend of my family even recommended it once during one of our many discussions. He told me to read this one in French and I told him to read A Room of One’s Own in English, we’d meet up later and talk. I know it’s a pretty thick book, but I’m hoping to get my hands on it in the next couple of months! Hopefully, I’ll be able to grab a French copy so I can read it in the original language as well.
So these were the 4 books that I’m looking forward to reading in the next year to expand my feminist bookshelf and knowledge.
What do you think about them, if you’ve read them? Do you have any suggestion of good feminist books?xx