Celebrating International Women’s Day 2022
Posted on March 7, 2022
Our authors are at the heart of everything we do at Saraband. This International Women’s Day, while thinking of all the women affected by the war in Ukraine, we’re celebrating our women writers. Year after year, they continue to work on their craft and to create outstanding new titles. We feel privileged to publish their work.
2022’s International Women’s Day theme is #BreakTheBias, highlighting both the deliberate and unconscious bias women around the world face. This discrimination is prevalent in the real world and occurs in fictional worlds too. Our authors often call discrimination out in their books, from Adelle Hay’s excellent portrait of Anne Brontë – especially in how Anne shows the plight of Helen Graham in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – to Claire MacLeary’s contemporary, fresh and often funny Harcus & Laird series (we recommend you start with the first title, Cross Purpose). In their non-fiction, Mary Gunn, Uuganaa Ramsay, Chitra Ramaswamy, Marion Dunn, Jill Hopper and Catherine Simpson all highlight truths drawn from their own experience that affect women disproportionately.
Four fantastic new books by women
All our authors are equally important. But today we’d particularly like to highlight the four new books by women that are published this March and April. Sue Lawrence’s The Green Lady continues this author’s passion for delving into Scottish history and reclaiming the ‘lost’ voices of women who have been wronged, and sometimes killed. J.A Mensah’s Castles from Cobwebs (paperback) follows the story of Imani, a young woman on a quest to discover her family and identity. Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Weird Sisters is the latest instalment in Olga Wojtas’ surreal, witty series featuring Shona, a formidable middle-aged librarian. And in non-fiction, Catherine Simpson’s refreshing, candid memoir One Body tells the story of her life through her body.
We can’t wait for you to get your hands on these brilliant reads. Both Olga and Catherine have also narrated their own audiobooks, demonstrating that their spoken-word storytelling skills are just as strong as their writing.
Female fictional characters we love
We also pay tribute to female characters in fiction who have inspired us. Ellie has chosen Celia Bowen from The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. We meet Celia as a young girl and watch her grow up to become an accomplished illusionist. The Night Circus is the backdrop for a decade-long competition between Celia’s father, Hector Bowen, and Mr A.H., who each select a protégé to compete in this mysterious and dangerous challenge. Celia is Bowen’s protégée, and over the years she displays incredible resilience as she fights for what is right, and for love. Determined to put a stop to the competition, Celia spends exhausting hours mastering her craft so that she can. Despite putting her life on the line, Celia is always kind to her friends and those around her. Her good nature, resilience and determination are what make Celia so inspiring.
Sara highlights Anne Shirley, the orphan protagonist of the children’s classic Anne of Green Gables, who was told she was not wanted when she arrived to meet her new foster family. They’d asked for a boy who could help out around their Prince Edward Island farm. Feisty Anne’s response was to show that she was more than the equal of any boy, and that she had courage, imagination and ambition to spare. She had a gift for friendship and for bringing laughter and joy to those around her. And by now, this irrepressible, flawed but fantastic character created by Lucy Maud Montgomery has continued to inspire many a young reader for more than a century.
War kills women and children
Returning to our opening thoughts, we are mindful of the women displaced, injured and bereaved in the turmoil of the war in Ukraine. Please see our previous post for ways to help, places to donate for humanitarian relief. As ever, while men outnumber women as soldiers, women bear more than their share of suffering.
Turn your thoughts to these women, and to role models who inspire us all, this International Women’s Day.