International Women’s Day: Five books by women authors

-Deepali Singh

When you want to lose yourself in another world, there is probably no other place better than between the pages of a book. Let’s make it even better. How about well-written books by women authors that resonate with women all over the world? On the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8, here’s a look at five books by female authors that are a must read.  

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

For far too long, we have read accounts of The Mahabharata as seen from the eyes of the Pandavas and Kauravas – namely, the men. However, The Palace of Illusions provides Panchaali a voice to express her story the way she sees it. Married to the five Pandavas, King Drupad’s daughter is one of the most fascinating women in Indian history. It is through her eyes that we see what it means to be a strong, opinionated woman in a patriarchal world.    

The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing by Sonia Faleiro

Investigative journalism at its best, Sonia Faleiro’s powerful and compelling book is not for the weak of heart. It delves into the mysterious deaths of two teenage girls and shines the light in the darkest corners of the nation. Faleiro spent six years researching the tragedy and the result is a narrative that depicts the ongoing epidemic of violence against women in rural areas of the country. Like we mentioned, not an easy read. 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Set in a near-future New England, Atwood’s dystopian novel’s central character is a woman named Offred. She belongs to a group called ‘handmaids’ whose sole duty is to produce children for their commanders. The readers are made privy to her innermost thoughts, dreams and desires. She lives in a society where women have no voice, no rights and no other purpose except to bear children. The book is a cautionary tale and a bleak look at the dangers that lurk around the corner. The scary bit? It is more relevant than ever today.  

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Former United States First Lady Michelle Obama is surely one of the most compelling and compassionate voices of our era. Her memoir is an insightful account of her public and private life, taking us through her triumphs and disappointments, accomplishments and failures. Hers is a story that is warm and inspiring and a must read for young women today.  

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is a social misfit with a traumatic past. She stumbles and bumbles her way through life. But everything changes when she meets Raymond, the unhygienic guy from IT who she falls for. He helps repair her heart and she learns that she needs to open hers in order to heal and survive. This beautiful tale that deals with themes of isolation and loneliness won the author the 2017 Costa Debut Novel Award.