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!

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