Cherríe Moraga (b. 1952) is a feminist activist and author. She is the founder of
La Red Xicana, an activist group fighting for indigenous rights, culture and
Born in Los Angeles, she obtained a master’s in
Feminist Writings from San Francisco State University. She is one of the first
writers to introduce theories on Chicana lesbianism. In 1983, she founded
Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, alongside Audre Lorde and Barbara Smith;
this was the first publisher in the United States dedicated to writings by
women of colour.
Monique Wittig (1935-2003) was a French writer and feminist theorist. Her novels exclusively
depict women and are considered feminist and lesbian classics.
She has written numerous novels, short stories
and essays, mostly dealing with feminist themes. She is a main theorist of
material feminism and coined the phrase ‘heterosexual contract’, where the patriarchal
society exists as a result of the norms existing between men and women.
Wright de Kleinhans (1846-1896)
was an early Mexican feminist. Through her magazines, Violetas de Anahuac and
Mujeres de Anahuac, she promoted female education and the idea that men
and women were intellectually equal.
She was a journalist and a member of numerous
literary societies around Mexico, always advancing ideas of gender equality and
the possibility of distancing oneself from the feminine ideal of marriage and
motherhood. One of her greatest achievements is the book Mujeres notables mexicanas
(1910), which contains 116 biographies of important Mexican women, of which
29 were indigenous – an important recognition at the time.
Joyce Carol Oates (b. 1938) is one of the most prolific writers in modern literature.
She has published 58 novels throughout a career spanning more than five
decades, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry and plays.
She has won numerous awards for her work,
including the National Humanities Medal or the Jerusalem Prize for Lifetime
Achievement. She has also taught at Princeton University since 1978.
Ama Ata Aidoo
(b.1942) is a
poet and playwright from Ghana. She has previously served as the Minister of
Education in her country.
Her first play, The Dilemma of a Ghost, was published in 1964, and made her the
first published African female dramatist. Her novels frequently feature strong
female characters who break common societal stereotypes. In 2000 she founded
the Mbaasem Foundation, which supports African women writers.
Lisa Appignanesi (b. 1946) is a
British-Canadian novelist. She has served as the President of English PEN and
is currently Chair of the Royal Society of Literature.
Among her works are Memory and Desire and Freud’s Women, studies of Freud’s ideas
in relation to women, as well as Mad, Bad
and Sad : A History of Women and the Mind Doctors. The latter won the
2009 Award for the Public Understanding of Science from the British Medical
Judith Kerr (b. 1923) is a British writer and illustrator. She is best known for her popular children’s books, such as The Tiger Who Came to Tea or the Mog series.
Born Jewish in Germany, she was forced to flee to Britain before the World War, an experience which inspired her novel When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. She worked for the Red Cross during the war, before becoming a writer. In 2012 she was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her service to children’s literature and Holocaust education.
Catherine Sinclair (1800-1864) was a Scottish writer, the author of several novels and children’s books. She also engaged in extensive charitable work in her hometown of Edinburgh.
Her first published work was Modern Accomplishments, or the March of Intellect, a study of female education, in 1836. She is credited with discovering that Sir Walter Scott was the author of the anonymous Waverley novels – her memorial in Edinburgh is loosely modeled after the famous Scott Monument.