‘Ain’t I a woman?’

From Sojourner Truth to Pussy Riot
by
June 2021, no. 432
Buy this book

The Penguin Book of Feminist Writing edited by Hannah Dawson

Penguin Classics, $55 hb, 704 pp

‘Ain’t I a woman?’

From Sojourner Truth to Pussy Riot
by
June 2021, no. 432

Where is home for a feminist? ‘I carry “home” on my back,’ wrote poet and theorist Gloria Anzaldúa in Borderlands/La Frontera (1987), a protective response to the many layers of discrimination she experienced as a queer Chicana woman. ‘Home’, for Palestinian poet Fadwa Tuqan, writing in the 1970s, was a place of confinement, where women’s movements ‘strongly resembled those of domestic poultry’. The home has rarely been a safe place for women (never mind feminists), who have for millennia dared to ask for better accommodation. But in the Penguin Book of Feminist Writing, academic Hannah Dawson, who teaches the history of political thought at King’s College London, has built a vast home for six centuries’ worth of feminist writers – the ‘city of ladies’ that medieval author Christine de Pizan envisions in the anthology’s first extract. It is a glorious history of women’s struggle for liberation from 1405 to 2020, featuring rebellious feminists of all stripes, from the French revolutionary Olympe de Gouges to Kenyan Nobel Prize-winning environmentalist Wangari Maathai to the Russian punk rockers Pussy Riot.

Megan Clement reviews 'The Penguin Book of Feminist Writing' edited by Hannah Dawson

The Penguin Book of Feminist Writing

edited by Hannah Dawson

Penguin Classics, $55 hb, 704 pp

Buy this book

You May Also Like

Comment (1)

  • This is a useful book, and this is the first review of it I've seen, from my vantage point in Manhattan. Of course, it's impossible to include every worthy writer in such a book, but I would like to have seen Lou Andreas-Salomé's 1900 essay, 'Thoughts on the Love Problem' (Gedanken über das Liesbesproblem) included.
    Posted by Frank Beck
    03 June 2021

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.