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Celebrating International Women’s Day

Written by Martin Gallagher, 8th March 2019

To celebrate International Women's Day 2019, we asked five of our inspirational Reader Women to suggest some brilliant literature from five inspirational, international authors. Here are their suggestions. . .

Cat Millar, The Reader's Training and Support Lead, Shared Reading North West suggests:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche's Apollo

On a routine visit to his elderly parents' house, a man in Nigeria reflects on his upbringing, his childhood love of Kung Fu and the special bond he once shared with a house servant named Raphael.

Natalie Kaas Pontoppidan, The Reader's Learning and Quality Leader suggests:

Andrea Levy's Loose Change

On this first International Women's Day without her, I'm choosing Loose Change. This is such a gripping short story about two strangers meeting in an art gallery. It poses questions such as: How does leaving home affect you? How do we react to meeting new people in places where we had not expected to? And do we understand why the story ends as it does?

Kirsty Styles, The Reader's National Membership Development Manager suggests:

Katherine Mansfield's Pictures

A rather sad tale about a singer who’s seen better days. She tries to stay positive, as though she knows something usually turns up, but her face often betrays her in the mirror. It feels like times probably haven’t changed too much in the entertainment business. The public glamour hides private struggles.

Lisa Spurgin, The Reader's Learning and Quality Coordinator suggests:

Alice Walker's Everyday Use

A story that has mothers and daughters at its heart. The two daughters are very different – the younger shy, uncertain and still living at home, and the older returning for a flying visit after a long time spent away. Touching upon topics including family dynamics, growing up and growing apart and keeping in touch with your roots, there’s a lot to tease out for discussion.

Jo Spragg, The Reader's Head of Communications suggests:

Rose Tremain's The Closing Door

Another story about parents and children, but this one deals with a mother reluctantly sending her young daughter away to boarding school. The train platform proves to be an interesting setting as we gain glimpses of how other parents deal with the same heart-wrenching situation. As the mother finds herself at a loose end, the story takes an interesting turn…


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