It’s International Women’s Day, and I am thinking about my favorite memoirs by women.
Here’s a partial list:
Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La frontera
Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted
Mary Daly, Outercourse
Eve Ensler, In the Body of the World
Joy Harjo, Crazy Brave
Linda Hogan, The Woman Who Watched Over the World
Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
Wangari Maathai, Unbowed
Rigoberta Menchu, I, Rigoberta Menchu
Zainab Salbi, Between Two Worlds
Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge
It’s no accident that these are all purposeful memoirs by women I call Worldwrights—people who write to right the world.
At the deepest level, this is what I believe animates most of us in our desire to write memoir. We write to understand our own experience, and then to share our insights with others, with the hopes of increasing our collective understanding of the richness of human experience.
Each of us writes on the foundation offered by millennia of human experience. From generation to generation, in a rhythm that seems to be constantly accelerating, we learn from our elders and from the lessons offered by our own unique life paths.
This International Women’s Day, join me in celebrating the courageous women who have dared to live deeply and to enrich our life experience with theirs.
May they inspire us to write to right the world–together!