Celebrating Women World-Wide
Spanning fiction and non-fiction and journeying from Canada to Nigeria, Bangladesh to France, Russia to Scotland and more, in the month of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, we highlight stories of, and by, remarkable women around the world.
What international women are you reading about at the moment? Let us know via email or by tweeting @scottishbooks.
An immersive tale of adventure, love and chocolate set at the height of the British Empire leads our International Women Issue. Author Sara Sheridan has been named one of the Saltire Society’s Most Influential Scottish Women, and she dedicates On Starlit Seas to ‘the many women who have fought for change.’
Extract from On Starlit Seas By Sara Sheridan Published by Black & White Publishing
This book is dedicated to the many women who have fought for change. Feminists all of us.
Outside Valparaíso, Chile, 1823
At dawn, Maria Graham stood in the drawing room of the cottage she had lived in for the last year. Outside, the trees swayed in the unseasonable breeze as the sky lightened. The hem of her grey travelling dress trailed as she crouched on the wooden boards with her eyes on the empty grate. She had loved this room. They said it was too far from town here, for an English lady alone. But the moment she had seen the low building, its walls wreathed in flowers, she knew it was the perfect place. She had strewn her papers across the comfortable chairs and laid them in a pile beside her bed. At the dining table she had eaten as she studied a vellum map of the Chilean highlands, and from the veranda she had sat contentedly and watched the swathes of green all around, and then, of course, she had witnessed the earthquakes. With quill in hand, she inspected the damage. It had been a matter of trigonometry to notate the tremors.
She knew what they said in Valparaíso. It isn’t natural. The English widow is an odd fish. But she didn’t care. The consul had troubled her with constant offers to send her home. To keep...
We are now well into the Muriel Spark Centenary, and for those who, like the First Minister, have ordered the complete set of all 22 of her novels being published this year by Polygon, last month will have seen the delivery of the sixth and most famous of them: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Or, as Olga Wojtas refers to it in her debut novel, That Book.
“That book purports to be about my school, but never has a school been so traduced under the veil of fiction,” her central character laments. “It is nothing but a distortion, a travesty, a betrayal.”
In Wojtas’s novel, Shona Ferguson i...
A gripping extract from the Man Booker International Prize longlisted novel.
‘Food is interwoven throughout my childhood memories and is the mainstay of almost every family gathering.’
‘Fidler’s stories explore all the things that still form the backbone of children’s books today.’
An audio taster of Ayobami Adebayo’s powerful story of jealousy, betrayal and despair.
‘I still often ask myself why I was chosen to survive. Twenty-three souls of my family perished.’
‘I wanted to create a liberating new form of pregnancy. A genuine equality.’
‘Many young women earned pilot’s certificates in after-school clubs, and even became flight instructors.’
‘Raised in the Scottish Highlands, Mary Watts was a symbolist artist-craftswoman whose political activism increased dramatically in later life.’
‘I realised my experience of motherhood, though personal and bespoke, might be useful for others to hear.’
What International Women’s Day means to some of the Floris Books’ team and authors, and what they’re reading to celebrate.
‘You wouldn’t think they had anything in common… a wee Glasgow girl and a world famous painter. But they do.’
‘The predominance of male writers in mass-market SF & Fantasy can have a further influence on gender representation.’
‘Today Rose Bertin is considered to have been the world’s first fashion designer.’
Insight into a new short story collection co-authored by Micaela Maftei and Laura Tansley.
‘This is not about charity or about improving the education of women. It is all about income generation.’
A visual tribute to the life of Tom Thomson, one of Canada’s most celebrated painters.
‘Diplomacy is hard work, sometimes seeking to bridge seemingly impossible divides.’