Best Books on Oppression of Women

Daily Mail (London), October 23, 2017 | Go to article overview

Best Books on Oppression of Women


Byline: Gill Hornby

THE bestselling author suggests key novels to help you through the trickier times in life.

PICKING out three books about women's oppression is so easy it's impossible. Unless they were written the day before yesterday, all books are shaped by this, deep down.

Those classics by women, from Jane Austen onwards, with their contemporary heroines, were set against the backdrop of a patriarchal society. And the rest were written by -- God bless 'em -- men.

So let's focus on those written the day before yesterday, figuratively speaking, and see what they tell us.

In Emma Donoghue's Room, a woman and her son are, for years, held captive by a man in a shed behind his house. (It's cheerier than it sounds.) She is a horribly abused prisoner, but to her boy she is a hero. When she finally effects their escape, these two damaged creatures fumble towards independence together.

Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life Of Bees bangs the drum for the female society. Of course, bees are the ultimate feminists: the females run the whole show. The story takes place in South Carolina in the Sixties, where there are inequalities everywhere. …

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