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MCLS Booklists

National Women’s History Month:
Writing Women Back into History - March 2010 Booklist
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NONFICTION:

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Her story : a timeline of the women who changed America By Charlotte Waisman

An illustrated celebration of the contributions of women to American history highlights the accomplishments of more than nine hundred individuals from all backgrounds and philosophies.
Excerpt

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When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present
By Gail Collins
Also available in: Downloadable Audiobook

When Everything Changed begins in 1960 when American women actually had to get their husband's permission to apply for a credit card. In the years since, American women have witnessed exciting changes, expectations about what their lives could be smashed in just a generation. The story ends in the 21st century, with a woman winning a Presidential primary. This book tells us how women got from there to here, in politics, fashion, economics, sex, families and work.
Reviews

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Civil War Wives: The Lives and Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis, and Julia Dent Grant by Carol Berkin

Here are the life stories of three women who connect us to our national past and provide windows onto a social and political landscape that is strangely familiar yet shockingly foreign.…Angelina Grimké Weld, after a painful internal dialogue, renounced the values of her Southern family’s way of life and embraced the antislavery movement, but found her voice silenced by marriage to fellow reformer Theodore Weld. Varina Howell Davis had an independent mind and spirit but incurred the disapproval of her husband, Jefferson Davis, when she would not behave as an obedient wife. Though ill-prepared and ill-suited for her role as First Lady of the Confederacy, she became an expert political lobbyist for her husband’s release from prison. Julia Dent Grant, the wife of Ulysses S. Grant, was a model of genteel domesticity who seemed content with the restrictions of marriage and motherhood, even though they led to alternating periods of fame and disgrace, wealth and poverty. Only late in life did she glimpse the price of dependency.

Throughout, Berkin captures the tensions and animosities of the antebellum era and the disruptions, anxieties, and dislocations generated by the war and its aftermath.  – Amazon.com
Reviews and Excerpt

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Mrs. Lincoln: A Life
By Catherine Clinton

A profile of Mary Todd Lincoln evaluates how her life reflected nineteenth-century America, discussing her aristocratic family, her experiences as a southerner married to a northern politician, and her struggles with the deaths of her husband and children.
Reviews and Excerpt
Author Website

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
By  Rebecca Skloot
Also available on: Audiobook on CD

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine ; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses ; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Reviews and Excerpt
Author Website

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A Jury of Her Peers : American Women Writers From Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx
By Eaine Showalter

A Jury of Her Peers is an unprecedented literary landmark: the first comprehensive history of American women writers from 1650 to 2000. In a narrative of immense scope and fascination--brimming with Elaine Showalter’s characteristic wit and incisive opinions--we are introduced to more than 250 female writers. These include not only famous and expected names (Harriet Beecher Stowe, Willa Cather, Dorothy Parker, Flannery O’Connor, Gwendolyn Brooks, Grace Paley, Toni Morrison, and Jodi Picoult among them), but also many who were once successful and acclaimed yet now are little known, from the early American best-selling novelist Catherine Sedgwick to the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Susan Glaspell. Showalter shows how these writers--both the enduring stars and the ones left behind by the canon--were connected to one another and to their times. She believes it is high time to fully integrate the contributions of women into our American literary heritage, and she undertakes the task with brilliance and flair, making the case for the unfairly overlooked and putting the overrated firmly in their place. – Amazon.com
Reviews, Author Note, and Excerpt

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Remarkable Creatures
By Tracy Chevalier
Also available in: Audiobook on CD and Large Print

When Mary Anning uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home on the English coast, she sets the religious fathers on edge, the townspeople to vicious gossip, and the scientific world alight. Luckily, Mary finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth Philpot, and in the struggle to be recognized in the wider world, Mary and Elizabeth discover that friendship is their greatest ally.
Author Website

FICTION:

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The Endless Forest
By Sara Donati

In this sixth title of the Wilderness series, the spring of 1824 is a challenging one for the inhabitants of Paradise N.Y. when a flood devastates the village. But for Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner, it’s also a time of reunion as their children return from far-off places: Lily and her husband from Italy, and Martha Kirby, the Bonners’ ward, from Manhattan. Although Lily is nursing her own grief, it is Martha, fleeing a crushing humiliation, who brings with her trouble that will reverberate in all their lives. In the sudden peace that follows the storm, as families struggle to rebuild, childhood friends Martha and Daniel, Lily’s twin brother, suddenly begin to see each other in a new light. But their growing bond is threatened when Martha’s mother arrives back in Paradise a decade after abandoning her daughter. Jemima Southern is a dangerous schemer who has destroyed more than one family, and her anger touches everyone, as do her secrets….Books in Print
Reviews, Excerpt and Author Note
Author Website

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The Lotus Eaters
By Tatjana Soli

On a stifling day in 1975, the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon. As the fall of the city begins, two lovers make their way through the streets to escape to a new life. Helen Adams, an American photojournalist, must take leave of a war she is addicted to and a devastated country she has come to love. Linh, the Vietnamese man who loves her, must grapple with his own conflicted loyalties of heart and homeland. As they race to leave, they play out a drama of devotion and betrayal that spins them back through twelve war-torn years, beginning in the splendor of Angkor Wat, with their mentor, larger-than-life war correspondent Sam Darrow, once Helen's infuriating love and fiercest competitor, and Linh's secret keeper, boss and truest friend. Tatjana Soli paints a searing portrait of an American woman’s struggle and triumph in Vietnam, a stirring canvas contrasting the wrenching horror of war and the treacherous narcotic of obsession with the redemptive power of love. – Books in Print
Author Website

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Wench
By Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Tawawa House, situated in Ohio, is an idyllic retreat that provides privacy for the Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their black enslaved mistresses. Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at Tawawa House. They have become friends over the years as they reunite and share developments in their own lives and on their respective plantations. They don't bother too much with questions of freedom, though the resort is situated in free territory -- but when truth-telling Mawu comes to the resort and starts talking of running away, things change.
Reviews
Author Website

 


 


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