Each month, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.
The aims of these lists are threefold:
- I want to do my part in the disruption of what has been the acceptable “norm” in the book world for far too long—white, cis, heterosexual, male;
- I want to amplify indie publishers and amazing works by writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, APIA/AAPI, international, queer, trans, nonbinary, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities—you know, the rest of us; and
- I want to challenge and encourage you all to buy, borrow and read them!
It’s times like this that I question my own (in)action on issues that really matter. I reflect on my own complacency and the meaning of the actions I do take; like providing this list each month. I struggle with feeling like I don’t do enough.
I think it’s a both/and. While I (we all) could and must do more—and I am attending my state’s abortion rights meeting today to see where I can be of service—I also see the continued value in books and reading, so I will also continue to put what I can into these lists.
So, whether you read for knowledge or leisure, books are so important. May is a big month for new releases by women and writers of historically excluded communities; I’ve highlighted 60 of them here, but there are many more. I hope you’ll find some here that will help you reflect and act in whatever ways you can.
Just in time for Mother’s Day is Adiba Nelson’s candid, heartfelt and laugh-out-loud memoir-guidebook about the hardships of parenting a high medical needs child and the untradeable gifts that accompany it.
Written by Mieko Kawakami and translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd. Europa Editions. 224 pages. Out now.
As one of the most insightful and important writers of our time, Mieko Kawakami delivers another extraordinary exploration of relationships, work and the intimate connections that (may) make it all worthwhile.
Through tragedy, two lives are woven together in this luminous coming-of-age novel that centers family, friendship, grief and identity.
This is the first biography about Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color in Congress and champion of Title IX legislation. It is beautifully written by historian Judy Tzu-Chun Wu and Patsy’s daughter and political scientist, Gwendolyn Mink.
Set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, this haunted and haunting novel is just the terrifying gothic debut you want to read tonight.