Summary: Part cultural meander, part memoir, Flâneuse takes us on a distinctly cosmopolitan jaunt that begins in New York, where Elkin grew up, and transports us to Paris via Venice, Tokyo, and London, all cities in which she’s lived. We are shown the paths beaten by such flâneuses as the cross-dressing nineteenth-century novelist George Sand, the Parisian artist Sophie Calle, the wartime correspondent Martha Gellhorn, and the writer Jean Rhys. With tenacity and insight, Elkin creates a mosaic of what urban settings have meant to women, charting through literature, art, history, and film the sometimes exhilarating, sometimes fraught relationship that women have with the metropolis.
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Author: Magda Szabó Language: English Summary: Intense, brilliant and moving, The Door is a compelling story about the relationship between two women of opposing backgrounds and personalities: one, an intellectual and writer; the other, her housekeeper, a mysterious, elderly woman who sets her own rules and abjures religion, education, pretense and any kind of authority. Beneath this hardened exterior of Emerence lies a painful story … Continue reading The Door
Author: Paula McLain
Summary: Set in 1920s colonial Kenya, Circling the Sun is about an unforgettable woman who lives by nobody’s rules but her own. She was a daughter of Edwardian England, transplanted to Kenya as a young girl by parents who dreamed of life on an African farm. But by the time Beryl Markham was sixteen, that dream had fallen apart. Catapulted into a disastrous marriage, she emerged from its wreckage with one idea: to take charge of her own destiny. – Source: ExpatNest
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Author: Manal Al-Sharif
Summary: A ferociously intimate memoir by a devout woman from a modest family in Saudi Arabia who became the unexpected leader of a courageous movement to support women’s right to drive.
Manal al-Sharif grew up in Mecca the second daughter of a taxi driver, born the year fundamentalism took hold. In her adolescence, she was a religious radical, melting her brother’s boy band cassettes in the oven because music was haram: forbidden by Islamic law. But what a difference an education can make. By her twenties she was a computer security engineer, one of few women working in a desert compound that resembled suburban America. That’s when the Saudi kingdom’s contradictions became too much to bear: she was labeled a slut for chatting with male colleagues, her teenage brother chaperoned her on a business trip, and while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving down city streets behind the wheel.
Daring to Drive is the fiercely intimate memoir of an accidental activist, a powerfully vivid story of a young Muslim woman who stood up to a kingdom of men—and won. Writing on the cusp of history, Manal offers a rare glimpse into the lives of women in Saudi Arabia today. Her memoir is a remarkable celebration of resilience in the face of tyranny, the extraordinary power of education and female solidarity, and the difficulties, absurdities, and joys of making your voice heard. – Source: Goodreads.com
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Author: Camille Cusumano
Summary: Legendary for fabulous food, persistent men, and a lyrical language, Italy has inspired many great love affairs–with the country itself. From the notorious occupants and cuisine of Sicily, to the ancient marvels of Rome, to the couture of Milan, women throughout the ages have invented and reinvented adventure in this diverse and voluptuous land. In this thrilling and layered new collection, women explore and describe individual infatuations with a land that is both complicated by and adored for its rich tradition. – Source: Amazon.com
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Author: Miral al-Tahawy
Summary: The Tent is a beautifully written, powerful, and disturbing novel, featuring a host of women characters whose lives are subject to the will of a single, often absent, patriarch and his brutal, foul-mouthed mother. Told through the eyes of a young girl, the lives of the Bedouin and peasant women unfold, revealing the tragedy of the sonless mother and the intolerable heaviness of existence.
Set against trackless deserts and star-filled night skies, the story tells of the young girl’s relationship with her distant father and a foreign woman who is well-meaning but ultimately motivated by self-interest. It provides an intimate glimpse inside the women’s quarters, and chronicles their pastimes and preoccupations, their stories and their songs. – Source: Goodreads.com
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