OVID loves women! To celebrate female writers during 2023 Women’s History Month and to recognize the contributions and achievements in the world of literature, OVID brings 5 must-reads written by women authors from over the world. Get the glass of your fav drink and dive in!
Jump to any of the five novels OVID recommends to be read for Women’s History Month
Upon her mother’s death from Alzheimer’s, a Nobel Prize-winning author Annie Ernaux embarks on a daunting journey back through time, as she seeks to capture the real woman, the one who existed independently from me, born on the outskirts of a small Normandy town, and who died in the geriatric ward of a hospital in the suburbs of Paris.
She explores the bond between mother and daughter, tenuous and unshakable at once, the alienating worlds that separate them, and the inescapable truth that we must lose the ones we love. In this quietly powerful tribute, Ernaux attempts to do her mother the greatest justice she can: to portray her as the individual she was.
Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye
This winning novel tells the interweaving stories of three women with ties to Senegal and France. The first woman, Norah, is a successful lawyer in France who is called to Senegal to rescue her estranged father who has fallen ill. The second woman, Fanta, is a Senegalese woman who moves to France to escape her unhappy marriage but finds herself trapped in a cycle of poverty and abuse. The third woman, Khady, is a young Senegalese woman who dreams of escaping her oppressive life but ends up being trafficked to France and forced into prostitution.
Through these three women’s experiences, the novel explores themes of identity, family, race, and class, as well as the complex relationships between Africa and Europe. It also sheds light on the challenges faced by African immigrants in France and the difficulties of navigating cultural and societal differences. Ultimately, “Three Strong Women” is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that gives voice to those who are often marginalized and ignored.
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Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic
“Baba Yaga Laid an Egg” by Dubravka Ugresic is a thought-provoking and unconventional novel that explores the myth of Baba Yaga, a supernatural figure from Slavic folklore. The story is told through the perspectives of three women: an aging writer, her middle-aged daughter, and her elderly mother. Each woman grapples with her own personal struggles and desires, as well as the larger societal pressures that shape their lives. As they navigate their relationships with each other and with the world around them, they also confront the legacy of Baba Yaga and what her myth represents for women across generations and cultures. Ugresic’s writing is sharp and witty, blending elements of myth, folklore, and contemporary society to create a rich and layered narrative that challenges readers to rethink their assumptions about gender, power, and identity.
Leaving Tabasco by Carmen Boullosa
“Leaving Tabasco” by Carmen Boullosa is a coming-of-age novel that follows the story of a young girl named Delmira Ulloa, who grows up in a small town in Tabasco, Mexico. Delmira is a free spirit, and as she grows older, she longs for adventure and escape from her provincial surroundings. When she meets the charismatic and mysterious Ricardo, she becomes swept up in a whirlwind romance that takes her on a journey through Mexico and the United States. Along the way, Delmira confronts her own desires and fears, as well as the social and cultural barriers that stand in her way. Through Boullosa’s evocative prose and vivid descriptions, “Leaving Tabasco” paints a rich portrait of Mexico and the complexities of growing up and finding one’s place in the world.
Bride & Groom by Alisa Ganieva
In Bride & Groom, Russian Writer Alisa Ganieva explores the complexities of contemporary life in modern-day Dagestan. The story follows the lives of two young people, Patya and Marat, who are about to get married in a traditional Dagestani wedding. Despite their differences in upbringing, education, and aspirations, Patya and Marat share a deep love for each other and are determined to start a new life together. However, their wedding is threatened by a series of unexpected events that force them to confront their personal and cultural differences. As they navigate through the challenges of their relationship and their place in Dagestani society, Patya and Marat come to realize that love can overcome even the most difficult obstacles.
With pages full of beautifully described North Caucasian landscapes, this thunderous love story provides an insightful and engaging portrait of contemporary Dagestani culture, while also addressing universal themes of love, identity, and the search for meaning in a rapidly changing world.