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!
As we enter into cooler weather here in the U.S. Midwest, it’s not only a time of reflection and shedding of old skins—it’s clearly the beginning of curling-up-with-good-books-and-hot-brews season! (And yes, that’s a thing. I just invented it.)
So as you settle into eclipse season and any special days you may celebrate, keep an eye on your favorite reading chair and insist upon using it regularly, with one of these 31 titles or a favorite of your own.
Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
You love Braiding Sweetgrass, and now you can gift your young adult friends with a special copy just for them! Complete with lovely drawings and photos, this volume contains all of the wisdom of the original.
Mexican American activist and scholar Alma Zaragoza-Petty (and all-around badass) uses her own experiences as a Brown woman immigrant to help others face their pain, their pasts, and embrace their own inner badass and the healing that can come with it.
By Diane Glancy. Broadleaf Books. 214 pages. Out Nov. 1.
With her signature poetic lyricism, Glancy describes how the road is her home, in its ever-changing, challenging and satisfying glory. The road allows her to examine the land and its history, spirituality and traditions, as well as her own.
A bestseller in South Korea (and recommended by BTS!), this volume candidly recounts the author’s experiences with, and reflections on, therapy for her mild depression. If you’ve ever felt exhausted and anxious by performing well-being, this is a book for you.
Ann Shen has become known for her vibrant illustrations and doesn’t disappoint with this latest volume focused on women trailblazers of color. Featuring profiles on Dolores Huerta, Charlotta Bass, Maria Tallchief, Sylvia Rivera, Victoria Draves, Yayoi Kusama and more, it will make a beautiful gift this holiday season.
This is a powerfully realized debut story of a Nigerian woman whose husband unexpectedly dies by suicide. Reflective and heartrending, Someday, Maybe is also surprisingly witty and compellingly relatable.
By Caroline Cook (@caroline_e_cook). Atmosphere Press. 290 pages. Out Nov. 1.
Based on the author’s time at Dartmouth and inspired by the life of Dr. Hannah Croasdale, Caroline Cook’s historical fiction debut explores the challenges and misogyny women encounter in academia, despite their achievements, grit and grind.
This is a debut ghost story that will knock your socks off. When Kari James receives her absent mother’s bracelet from a cousin, she swears it’s haunted and goes on a mission to solve the mystery of why her mother left her all those years ago.
If you love speculative fiction, you’ve probably been waiting for the second book of N.K. Jemisin’s Great Cities duology like I have. Magical and masterful, this volume is a spectacular conclusion to The City We Became.
Here’s the companion to Abolition Feminisms Vol. 1, which was released in August. In similar groundbreaking fashion, contributors continue to interrogate, dismantle and rebuild the state into our most radical abolitionist dream come true.
A singularly unique novel, Zi Shu Li’s debut is now available for the first time in English. Following three storylines of trauma, upheaval and history, this Southeast Asian epic is rife with detail, tradition and heart.