Customers often ask us which is the "best ever" feminist book or which book about feminism they should give someone new to feminism or which book they should read if they are just beginning their feminist journey. We think, as bell hooks says, "feminism is for everybody," but not every feminist book is for every person. Below is a list of our ever-evolving Charis feminist canon. This list is shaped by our personal tastes, our geographies, and our understanding of feminism as a strategy and a tool to understand and dismantle interlocking systems of oppression. This list is also primarily books which are currently accessible and on our shelves because we want you to be able to come in and pick them up today if you see something that excites you. One last caveat: this list is non-fiction and primarily on the subject of feminism. Feminists write novels and poems and books on every subject under the sun. Check out the other lists on this site to find books that we think fit the bill in those subjects. These are books more or less "about" feminism. We hope you find yourself in them and keep on searching.
What is feminism? In this short, accessible primer, bell hooks explores the nature of feminism and its positive promise to eliminate sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. With her characteristic clarity and directness, hooks encourages readers to see how feminism can touch and change their lives--to see that feminism is for everybody.
Bronze Medalist, 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Anthologies Category
The pioneering anthology Home Girls features writings by Black feminist and lesbian activists on topics both provocative and profound. Since its initial publication in 1983, it has become an essential text on Black women's lives and writings.
Literary Nonfiction. Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. LGBT Studies. Fourth Edition. Rooted in Gloria Anzaldua's experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the essays and poems in this volume profoundly challenged, and continue to challenge, how we think about identity.
The first edition of Making Space for Indigenous Feminism proposed that Indigenous feminism was a valid and indeed essential theoretical and activist position, and introduced a roster of important Indigenous feminist contributors.
Asian American Feminisms and Women of Color Politics brings together groundbreaking essays that speak to the relationship between Asian American feminisms, feminist of color work, and transnational feminist scholarship.
Named a Best Book by: The Globe and Mail, Indigo, Out Magazine, Audible, CBC, Apple, Quill & Quire, Kirkus Reviews, Brooklyn Public Library, Writers’ Trust of Canada, Autostraddle, Bitch, and BookRiot.
Finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award, Transgender Nonfiction
Nominated for the 2019 Forest of Reading Evergreen Award
In this collection of essays, Lambda Literary Award-winning writer and longtime activist and performance artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha explores the politics and realities of disability justice, a movement that centers the lives and leadership of sick and disabled queer, trans, Black, and brown people, with knowledge and gifts for all.
Bringing together classic and new writings of the trailblazing feminist theorist Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders addresses some of the most pressing and complex issues facing contemporary feminism.
Newly revised and updated, this landmark anthology offers gripping portraits of American life as seen through the eyes of young women of color
This anthology assembles two decades of work initiated by SisterSong Women of Color Health Collective, creators of the human rights-based "reproductive justice" framework to move beyond polarized pro-choice/pro-life debates.
In this, her first collection of nonfiction, Alice Walker speaks out as a black woman, writer, mother, and feminist in thirty-six pieces ranging from the personal to the political.
A comprehensive collection of feminist manifestos, chronicling rage and dreams from the nineteenth century to the present day
Including: Susan B. Anthony Simone de Beauvoir W.E.B. Du Bois Hélène Cixous Betty Friedan Charlotte Perkins Gilman Emma Goldman Guerrilla Girls Ding Ling • Audre Lorde John Stuart Mill Christine de Pizan Adrienne Rich Margaret Sanger Huda Shaarawi • Sojourner Truth Mary Wollstonecraft Virginia Woolf
A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.
Originally published in 1982, All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women's Studies is the first comprehensive collection of black feminist scholarship. Featuring contributions from Alice Walker and the Combahee River Collective, this book is vital to today's conversation on race and gender in America.
Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature.
The Combahee River Collective, a path-breaking group of radical black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the antiracist and women's liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s.
Landmark, groundbreaking, classic these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of the problem that has no name: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women's confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home.
Simone de Beauvoir’s essential masterwork is a powerful analysis of the Western notion of “woman,” and a revolutionary exploration of inequality and otherness. Unabridged in English for the first time, this long-awaited edition reinstates significant portions of the original French text that were cut in the first English translation.
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In this updated second edition, biologist and trans woman Julia Serano reveals a unique perspective on femininity, masculinity, and gender identity.
The term "feminism" came into English usage around the 1890s, but women's conscious struggle to resist discrimination and sexist oppression goes back much further. Introducing Feminism surveys the major developments that have affected women's lives from the seventeenth century to the present day.
"This slim book--seven essays, punctuated by enigmatic, haunting paintings by Ana Teresa Fernandez--hums with power and wit."--Boston Globe
"The antidote to mansplaining."--The Stranger
"Feminist, frequently funny, unflinchingly honest and often scathing in its conclusions."--Salon
The first major anthology to trace the development, from the early 1800s to the present, of black feminist thought in the United States, Words of Fire is Beverly Guy-Sheftall's comprehensive collection of writings, in the feminist tradition, of more than sixty African American women.
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Essays on Latinx and Caribbean identity and on globalization by renowned women writers, including Julia Alvarez, Edwidge Danticat, and Jamaica Kincaid
The highly acclaimed, provocative New York Times bestseller from the award-winning author of Americanah, “one of the world’s great contemporary writers” (Barack Obama).
Mia McKenzie, creator of the enormously popular website Black Girl Dangerous, writes about race, queerness, class and gender in a concise, compelling voice filled at different times with humor, grief, rage, and joy.
At issue are the politics of language; the uses of scholarship; and the topics of racism, history, and motherhood among others called forth by Rich as "part of the effort to define a female consciousness which is political, aesthetic, and erotic, and which refuses to be included or contained in the culture of passivity.
From the author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, the New York Times Bestseller and Best Book of the Year at NPR, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and many more
A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.
What does sexual orientation mean if the very categories of gender are in question? How do we measure equality when our society's definitions of "male" and "female" leave out much of the population? There is no consensus on what a "real" man or woman is, where one's sex begins and ends, or what purpose the categories of masculine and feminine traits serve.
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Newly revised and updated, the #1 must-read book for a new generation of feminists who refuse to accept anything less than equality and justice for all women
Eschewing the conventional wisdom that places the origins of the American women's movement in the nostalgic glow of the late 1960s, Feminism Unfinished traces the beginnings of this seminal American social movement to the 1920s, in the process creating an expanded, historical narrative that dramatically rewrites a century of American women's history.
In Feminist, Queer, Crip Alison Kafer imagines a different future for disability and disabled bodies. Challenging the ways in which ideas about the future and time have been deployed in the service of compulsory able-bodiedness and able-mindedness, Kafer rejects the idea of disability as a pre-determined limit.
In an era of revolutions demanding greater liberties for mankind, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was an ardent feminist who spoke eloquently for countless women of her time.
“Morgan has given an entire generation of black feminists space and language to center their pleasures alongside their politics.” —Janet Mock, New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness
“All that and then some, Chickenheads informs and educates, confronts and charms, raises the bar high by getting down low, and, to steal
The bestselling classic that redefined our view of the relationship between beauty and female identity.
In today's world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before.
Written by and for men, the ultimate guide to becoming a strong male ally in the 21st century
Praise for The Macho Paradox
"An honest, intellectually rigorous and insightful work that challenges readers to truly engage in a political discourse that can change lives, communities and nations."
--Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes
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Lambda Literary Award for Best Book in Transgender Nonfiction, 2013
One of the most talked-about scholarly works of the past fifty years, Judith Butler's Gender Trouble is as celebrated as it is controversial.
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In this groundbreaking collection of personal writings, young Asian American girls come together for the first time and engage in a dynamic converstions about the unique challenges they face in their lives.
In 1997, this groundbreaking book made a powerful entrance into the national conversation on race. In a media landscape dominated by racially biased images of welfare queens and crack babies, Killing the Black Body exposed America’s systemic abuse of Black women’s bodies.
GOLD MEDALIST OF FOREWORD REVIEWS’ 2015 INDIEFAB AWARDS IN WOMEN’S STUDIES
What’s wrong with black women? Not a damned thing!
The Sisters Are Alright exposes anti–black-woman propaganda and shows how real black women are pushing back against distorted cartoon versions of themselves.
Virginia Woolf's landmark inquiry into women's role in society
In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf imagines that Shakespeare had a sister—a sister equal to Shakespeare in talent, and equal in genius, but whose legacy is radically different. This imaginary woman never writes a word and dies by her own hand, her genius unexpressed.
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A landmark collection of writings that define the intellectual and political underpinnings of contemporary feminism, from Simone de Beauvoir to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
This essential volume brings together more than forty of the most important historical writings on feminism, covering 150 years of the struggle for women’s freedom.
A manifesto from one of America's most influential activists which disrupts political, economic, and social norms by reimagining the Black Radical Tradition.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“One of the most important books of the current moment.”—Time
“A rousing call to action... It should be required reading for everyone.”—Gabrielle Union, author of We’re Going to Need More Wine
Today's women are so comfortable in their authority that they often forget to credit the women's liberation movement of the 1960s and '70s for paving the way—from the kitchen to the boardroom, from sexual harassment to self-defense, from cheerleading on the sidelines to playing center on the team.
The twentieth-anniversary edition of the original women's empowerment manifesto
An ancient title of respect for women, the word "cunt" long ago veered off its noble path. Inga Muscio traces the road from honor to expletive, giving women the motivation and tools to claim the term as a positive and powerful force in their lives.
A new way of thinking about data science and data ethics that is informed by the ideas of intersectional feminism.
Today, data science is a form of power. It has been used to expose injustice, improve health outcomes, and topple governments. But it has also been used to discriminate, police, and surveil.
For the Crunk Feminist Collective, their academic day jobs were lacking in conversations they actually wanted--relevant, real conversations about how race and gender politics intersect with pop culture and current events. To address this void, they started a blog.
Witch, Slut, Feminist: these contested identities are informing millennial women as they counter a tortuous history of misogyny with empowerment. This innovative primer highlights sexual liberation as it traces the lineage of "witch feminism" through art, film, music, fashion, literature, technology, religion, pop culture, and politics.
“As timely as it is well-written, this clear-eyed collection is just what I need right now.” —Jacqueline Woodson, author of Brown Girl Dreaming
How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life?
An updated, third edition of the renowned feminist’s most diverse and timeless collection of essays, with a new foreword by Emma Watson.
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The twentieth anniversary release of a groundbreaking feminist text: a powerful indictment of the current state of feminism, and a passionate call to arms
Everyone needs to love and be loved—even men.