by Samantha Knoerzer • March 24, 2021 • Follow SamanthaKnoerze
In the height of a chaotic year, women continue to impact publishing and the world.
The pandemic year has impacted everyone. Publishing as an industry will never be the same. One thing that many in the publishing world have continued to note is the delight in how authors, publishing professionals, and the industry itself has fought to rise out of the chaos of 2020 and push ahead into 2021 with new vigor.
In this success, we are proud to see women at the forefront of the publishing revolution. As we move publishing to its next stage, let us highlight some books by female authors that made an impact in 2020 and 2021.
1. Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown – If you have not read this book that came out in early 2020, YOU NEED TO IMMEDIATELY. This story follows the autobiographical account, mixed with some magical realism, of Echo as she highlights her early struggles of racism, sexism, sexual assault, and pushing through to her dream of making it to an Ivy League school. Though this book has heavy topics highlighted, it is an absolute poetic masterpiece that highlights the struggles of a woman of color as she fights for her dreams. Written in prose, you will not be able to put this book down.
2. Jo: An Adaption of Little Women (Sort of) by Kathleen Gros – This is not the story of Little Women that you think you know. Following a modern take on the original tale, this story highlights what you loved about the tale and fixes what you didn’t. Jo is a fun loving, family-focused middle schooler who is just trying to follow her passion of working in journalism. She finds a best friend in Rory, and a female love interest as she discovers who she is and wants to be, all the while hanging out with her three sisters and best-friends. This modern take on the original story takes it into 2020 modern territory.
3. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu – Technically this book was published in 2015, but the Netflix show is comic out this month. This is a book about a daughter of a 90s riot grrl who starts off as a low profile student, and turns her high school into a feminist revolution. With double standards for the football team, and the staff blindness to assaults happening the hallways, Vivian teams up with a group of teens to change things in their high school. With themes of feminism, sexism, and intersectional feminism, this book is a great one for any 2021 reader.
4. The Derby Daredevils series by Kit Rosewater, illus. Sophie Escabasse – This ones an illustrated middle grade series about different types of girls discovering who they are while also discovering the awesome world of roller derby. It’s a book about female friendships and the power of being exactly who you want to be. This one is a great read for any feminist, young and old.
5. The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson – This is an adult novel that has all of the female power through the vein of witches. Witches have alwyas been used as a sense of female power, and this book follows that idea. Coming from a family that is disgraced for having married between races, the main character tries her best to follow the religion of her town and live a pious life. However, after she wanders into the wood and is bestowed with her disgraced mother’s journal, the protagonist begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history. She decides that she must push for change since no one else will. At the very center of the power of women, this read is a must.
6. She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard – This one is coming out this month, but I have read an ARC and it is one that definitely belongs on this list. The story highlights female power and the way that women are changed by social media and communal influence. The most important focus in the story is showing shoe after all that change, women can take back control of that narrative. If anything resonates with the power of women in media, it’s this amazing book.
7. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong – This story has all the romance and intrigue of the 1920s, mixed with a kickass female lead who is an ex-flapper and heir of one of the largest gangs in the city of Shanghai. Through first love and betrayal, this story has all the danger and intrigue of gang culture through a female view.
8. This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey – A YA Truman-show-styled story, this one focuses on how far one will go to create our own version of reality. Perfect for a pandemic read, this story will take you on a journey that you will not expect.
No matter what age range or genre, female writers continue to positively impact the market. These are only a few of the highlights of the year and we can expect more before the end of 2021. Let’s give it up for the ladies of publishing and for #Women’sHistoryMonth.
I am the Social Media Coordinator and Author Relations Manager for BiblioCrunch. And I love to read, OF COURSE! From the classics to YA and children's, you can find me reading it all. I have a masters in publishing from NYU's Print and Digital Media Studies masters program, and have undergraduate degrees in music, marketing, and english. I have a passion for reading, music, and travel. My goal is to travel to as many places around the world as possible. If you need to find me, you can catch me traveling all around the world at any chance I get – always with a book in hand!