From Amazon.com: "...Set in the Missouri Ozarks during the Civil War, Jiles's story focuses on the trying times of 18-year-old heroine Adair Colley. When a group of renegade Union militiamen attacks the Colley home, stealing family possessions, burning everything down, and taking away her father--an apolitical judge--Adair gathers the remnants of her clothes and mounts a rescue effort...."
From Publisher's Weekly: "...set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you..."
The legend of Camelot, King Arthur, and the quest for the Holy Grail powerfully re-told from the perspective of the female characters: Guinevere, the Lady of the Lake, and Morgan le Fey. It is one of the most engaging and thought-provoking novels I have read. Although it is not, strictly speaking, history, I think it is a good choice for women’s history month because it takes a familiar story that is usually male-dominated and puts women’s experiences at the center, lending the story a new richness, depth, and complexity.
Lalu Nathoy's father calls his thirteen-year-old daughter his treasure, his "thousand pieces of gold," yet when famine strikes northern China in 1871, he is forced to sell her. Polly, as Lalu is later called, is sold to a brothel, sold again to a slave merchant bound for America, auctioned to a saloon keeper, and offered as a prize in a poker game. Complete with photographs and documents, this biographical novel is the extraordinary story of a legendary pioneer's fight for independence and dignity on the American frontier.
From Amazon.com: "Novelist Susan Vreeland has made a career of fictionalizing the lives of artists and of particular paintings, like Artemisia Gentileschi¹s magnificent Judith in The Passion of Artemisia. In her third novel, The Forest Lover, Vreeland's subject is the courageous Canadian painter Emily Carr, who traveled through native villages and wilderness of British Columbia in the early 1900s, often alone, on a quest to paint totem poles and other artifacts before the indigenous traditions died out and the poles were destroyed or sold..."
From Publisher's Weekly: "Teresita, the real-life "Saint of Cabora," was born in 1873 to a 14-year-old Indian girl impregnated by a prosperous rancher near the Mexico-Arizona border. Raised in dire poverty by an abusive aunt, the little girl still learned music and horsemanship and even to read: she was a "chosen child," showing such remarkable healing powers that the ranch's medicine woman took her as an apprentice..."
Though generally overlooked during her lifetime, Emily Dickinson's poetry has achieved acclaim due to her experiments in prosody, her tragic vision and the range of her emotional and intellectual explorations.
From Library Journal: "Olsen, the writer, teacher, and 1930s left-wing activist, was born in 1912 of East European parents committed to Socialist and Jewish enlightenment values. Her work reflects the discrimination and marginalization she felt as a young girl growing up in Omaha, Nebraska..."
Margaret Mitchell's epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and went on to give rise to two authorized sequels and one of the most popular and celebrated movies of all time. Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath. None take us into the burning fields and cities of the American South as Gone With the Wind does, creating haunting scenes and thrilling portraits of characters so vivid that we remember their words and feel their fear and hunger for the rest of our lives. In the two main characters, the white-shouldered, irresistible Scarlett and the flashy, contemptuous Rhett, Margaret Mitchell not only conveyed a timeless story of survival under the harshest of circumstances, she also created two of the most famous lovers in the English-speaking world since Romeo and Juliet.
"Belongs in the category ... of enduring American literature." -- Saturday Review. Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person -- no mean feat for a black woman in the '30s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots.
From Library Journal: "Take one part Whitney Otto's How To Make an American Quilt (McKay, 1991), add a smidgen of magical realism a la Garcia Marquez, follow up with several quixotic characters, garnish with love, and you'll have Like Water for Chocolate , a thoroughly enjoyable and quirky first novel by Mexican screenwriter Esquivel..."
From Amazon.com: "Adding to the literature on multiculturalism, this collection of essays, poems, and recipes highlights some of the experiences and attitudes of North American women of Arab descent..."
From Publisher's Weekly: "Cross makes an excellent, entertaining case in her work of historical fiction that, in the Dark Ages, a woman sat on the papal throne for two years. Born in Ingelheim in A.D. 814 to a tyrannical English canon and the once-heathen Saxon he made his wife, Joan shows intelligence and persistence from an early age...."
From Amazon.com: "The Space Between Us, Thrity Umrigar's poignant novel about a wealthy woman and her downtrodden servant, offers a revealing look at class and gender roles in modern day Bombay. Alternatively told through the eyes of Sera, a Parsi widow whose pregnant daughter and son-in-law share her elegant home, and Bhima, the elderly housekeeper who must support her orphaned granddaughter, Umrigar does an admirable job of creating two sympathetic characters whose bond goes far deeper than that of employer and employee...."