May 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us – Ms. Magazine

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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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
  3. I want to challenge and encourage you all to buy, borrow and read them! 

The Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe v. Wade was leaked this week. We’ve known about the possibility of this happening but it still feels surreal, desperate and infuriating. 

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. 

Ain’t That a Mother: Postpartum, Palsy, and Everything in Between

By Adiba Nelson (@adibanelson). Blackstone Publishing. 240 pages. Out now.

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.

All the Lovers in the Night

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.

Circa: A Novel

By Devi S. Laskar (@devislaskar). Mariner Books. 192 pages. Out now.

Through tragedy, two lives are woven together in this luminous coming-of-age novel that centers family, friendship, grief and identity.

Fierce and Fearless: Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Color in Congress

By Judy Tzu-Chun Wu and Gwendolyn Mink (@wendymink). NYU Press. 456 pages. Out now.

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.

The Hacienda

By Isabel Cañas (@isabelcanas_). Berkeley. 352 pages. Out now.

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.

Read the rest of the list at Ms. Magazine…