March is Women’s History Month. This month offers a chance to reflect and uplift women’s contributions to our society, which have often been erased or minimized. It is a time to renew our commitment to supporting women and girls. At the library, we are highlighting contemporary women authors in our collection throughout the month! We want you to join the conversation using the hashtag #ReadingWomen. Who are women authors you are reading now? Who are women writers that have shaped you as a reader?

 

As a high school student, one of the books that had a profound impact on me was Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I was shocked to learn that this incredibly influential author was almost erased from history and canon. As an elder, Hurston struggled to get her work published. She passed away alone in the St. Lucie County Welfare Home in 1960. She was buried in Fort Pierce, Florida, in an unmarked grave. If not for Alice Walker, the story may have ended here. In 1975, Alice Walker introduced a new generation of readers to Hurston in her essay, “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston,” published in Ms. magazine. Her essay restored Hurston’s legacy as a staple of U.S. literary canon.

 

I wouldn’t be the reader (or person, for that matter) I am today without Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker.

And Louise Erdrich.

And Natasha Trethewey.

And Audre Lorde.

And Mary Oliver.

And Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.

And Barbara Kingsolver.

And Toni Morrison.

And so many more.

 

Writers shape our cultural and political understandings and imagination. We need women writers of all backgrounds taught in schools and universities, celebrated in our culture, and shared with future generations. A history month is a great time to celebrate and reflect, but we need not relegate any group of people to a single month! Follow along and join the conversation using our hashtag, #ReadingWomenKPL. We hope we can help you find a new book to check out! Look for posts like these on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: