It's still not unusual to come across recommended reading lists that contain barely any female authors. Despite women dominating UK bestseller lists last year, they are frequently overlooked for big literary prizes in the past.
So, three cheers for Penguin Random House, which is launching a pop-up book shop in London that will stock only female authors. The shop, Like A Woman, will be open from 5th-9th March in Shoreditch, east London, to mark International Women's Day on the 8th of the month.
The shop, a partnership with Waterstones, will also host literary events and aims to celebrate the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave many women the right to vote in the UK.
It will showcase more than 200 authors, including those who have contributed to the fight for gender equality. Think Margaret Atwood, Malorie Blackman, Iris Murdoch and Malala Yousafzai, as well as literary favourites like Zadie Smith, Ali Smith and Naomi Alderman. Shoppers will also be able to bag recently-released tomes by writers such as Afua Hirsch and Penelope Bagieu.
Books will be grouped under headings including ‘Essential feminist reads’, ‘Inspiring young readers’, ‘Women to watch’ and ‘Changemakers'.
The initiative will also raise money for a good cause. Proceeds from event ticket sales will be donated to Solace Women’s Aid, a charity that has been supporting and offering shelter to domestic violence survivors in London for over 40 years, and punters will be able to buy books to donate to the charity.
Zainab Juma, Penguin Random House's creative manager, described it as "a space where readers can look to incredible writers, activists and pioneers for the inspiration to go forward and make change like a woman.” We'll see you there.
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