"Oh, I've been meaning to get around to Invisible Women..." is exactly what Perez is seeking to address in her spot-on analysis of the global gender data gap. History is riddled with missing information about the labor and lives of over half the Earth's population, and yet little is being done to investigate (let alone correct) this massive omission. A perfect read for changemakers with a knack for statistics, Perez's razor-sharp reporting will leave readers wondering, "Is unisex really unisex? Or is it just another way to say, 'one size fits man'?"
In two previous books, Lose Your Mother and Scenes of Subjection, Saidiya Hartman pioneered “critical fabulation,” an approach combining archival research, critical theory, and fictional narrative to explore the afterlife of slavery and the effects of racism and exile on African-American identity. In her new book, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments (W.W. Norton, $28.95), she uses a similar methodology to examine a generation of young Black women who rebelled against traditional social and cultural constraints. Focusing on the urban experience of Black women in the early twentieth century, Hartman, a Guggenheim Fellow and professor at Columbia, uses history and literary imagination to trace the lives of women who rejected both degrading conditions of work and normative gender roles in personal relationships, showing how these experiments in work, sex, and marriage constituted a radical transformation of Black intimate and social life.
The Book of Gutsy Women (Simon & Schuster, $35) is the first book that Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton, both prolific authors, have written together. In it they identify 103 women they define as “gutsy”—women who have changed the world through their ideas, actions, creativity, courage, and persistence. The list is diverse. It includes women across generations, races,
cultures, ethnicities, geographical boundaries, vocations, and avocations. And while some are well known—former congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, tennis champion Billie Jean King, and teenage
climate activist Greta Thunberg, for example—others work or worked in virtual anonymity: scientists like Ada Lovelace and Flossie Wang-Staal, education activists like the rebellious 17th-century nun, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and modern crusaders like child marriage activist Fraidy Reiss and workers’ rights champion Ai-Jen Poo, and dozens more. In recounting these stories, the authors give voice to women collectively, helping to flesh out a historical narrative that has systematically excluded, ignored, or discounted the experiences, perspectives, and accomplishments of half of the world’s inhabitants. For that alone, and on behalf of womankind, thank you Hillary and Chelsea. P.S. Hope there is a volume 2!