Five Books by Women Authors You Need in Your Life

October 27, 2017
Tererai Trent, Ph.D., 2017 AAUW Alumnae Recognition Awardee

Tererai Trent, Ph.D., addresses the crowd at the 2017 AAUW National Convention.

“If you’ve ever had a dream, a longing, a desire, but thought to yourself, ‘No way, I could never. I don’t have the time, money, resources, skills, or courage,’ this book is for you. If you’ve ever looked at the world and felt an aching for one of its many hurts or injustices, this book is for you. If you know the power of sisterhood or need to know its power, this book is for you.” — Oprah Winfrey, foreword to The Awakened Woman: Remembering and Reigniting Our Sacred Dreams

The best authors dedicate their lives to writing the novels, biographies, and think pieces that expand our understanding of humanity, inspire new beliefs, and help us make sense of the world. From Susan Sontag to Rosalind Wiseman, AAUW fellows and grantees have contributed significantly to the body of published fiction and nonfiction literature. Their works have appeared on best-seller lists, been highlighted in AAUW’s ¡Adelante! Book of the Month Club, and been recognized as must-read selections from our alumnae library. Join us in celebrating women writers by exploring the works of some of AAUW’s outstanding alumnae.

The Firebrand and the First Lady1. The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship

The fifth publication from 1984–85 American Fellow Patricia Bell-Scott, Ph.D., The Firebrand and the First Lady is the February 2018 Adelante book club selection. The biography captures the influential life of activist Pauli Murray and her relationship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. In responding to a spirited letter Murray sent President Franklin D. Roosevelt criticizing his lack of leadership on racial equality, the First Lady kicked off a correspondence that over the course of the next 25 years would change and shape public discourse about social justice. Bell-Scott’s writing captures the profound essence of women’s complex friendships and will inspire you to reach out to the women in your life who bring out the best in you.


2. Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict

In Finding Time, 1997–98 American Fellow Heather Boushey, Ph.D., warns that our approach to work-life balance is antiquated due to the evolving role of women outside the home and in the workforce. Boushey challenges the prevailing strategies for increasing productivity and, in the tradition of many influential American authors, makes a compelling case for policy change. She champions the ideas of a true commitment to a healthy work-life balance and shares ideas that employers will reference for decades to come.




3. The Awakened Woman: Remembering and Reigniting Our Sacred Dreams

Tererai Trent, Ph.D. — 2001–02 International Fellow, 2017 AAUW Alumnae Recognition Awardee, and Oprah’s favorite guest — shares how she became a globally known voice for women’s empowerment and education in The Awakened Woman. Her book inspires and challenges women to follow their “sacred” dreams through nine critical lessons tied to ancient African wisdom. Trent provides tools for women to rediscover their dreams and harness the power of those dreams for the common good.




4. Flo Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical

Activist, lawyer, and cowboy hat aficionado Florynce “Flo” Kennedy and her story come to life in 2005–06 American Fellow Sherie Randolph, Ph.D.’s debut release. Randolph weaves together threads of the Black Power and feminist movements of the 1960s to showcase the social progress of the decade and documents the connections Kennedy established and the bridges she built between the two movements.





5. The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits

Community Action Grantee Tiya Miles (2012–13), Ph.D., is dedicated to exposing America’s complicated and often hidden history. In her fourth book Myles cements her place as a leading historian of our time by pulling back the curtain to reveal the history of slavery in Detroit.






AAUW fellows demonstrate that authors play an essential role in illuminating and shaping American culture. They are the gatekeepers of our history and the architects of our future. We applaud these women and their outstanding contributions to increasing knowledge and understanding of science, society, art, and our world.

Read a good book lately? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

This post was written by AAUW Fellowships and Grants Intern Lisa Napper.

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2014-2015 AAUW International Fellow Petreena Campbell pursued her Ph.D. in Pharmacology.

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By:   |   October 27, 2017


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