by Tara Miller
“Why am I compelled to write?... Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and anger... To become more intimate with myself and you. To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve self-autonomy. To dispell the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit... Finally I write because I'm scared of writing, but I'm more scared of not writing.”
Gloria Anzaldúa's above quote speaks to the necessity of the following list. The second installment in a massive list of books by women of color, crowdsourced through my family, friends, and community, is a vital celebration of voices that are not prevalent enough in publishing houses, libraries, bookstores, and reading lists.
Support women of color authors because our stories matter, our lives matter, and because we've written some damn good books.
To quote my dear friend Jessica Osorio from the last installment: “Read books by women of color. Share them with your friends. Talk about them. Buy them from your local bookstore when you can. If they don’t have the book you’re looking for, ask your local bookstore to order a copy for you. It’s a great way to show bookstores, publishers, editors, and book reviewers that these stories matter and we want to see more of them.”
While this completes the submissions I received for the initial list, I know there are many many many more books by WOC out there and I would love to get enough new submissions to do a third installment for next months' issue. If you have additional books to recommend, please reach out to us through our submissions page.
The Professor’s Daughter, Emily Raboteau
On Beauty, Zadie Smith
Mama Day, Gloria Naylor
Paradise, by Toni Morrison
The Jailing of Cecelia Capture, Janet Campbell Hale