History is always written from the winner's point of view and so is true for the books. Earlier we used to have only male centric books which were written by male authors about heroic male characters. As the number of female authors has increased, this scenario has changed. Today we have stories depicting the life of empowered women.There is also a growing trend of showing same stories from a female point of view. Now women are not restricted to play a mere naïve and supporting character, but women who live their lives on their own terms.Some of these revolutionary books are:-
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
A bewildering story which first came in 1985 and dazzled everyone with its uniqueness. A dystopian world where the power is like a pyramid from upside down. It’s a story revolving around Gilead, a dictatorship regime and a ray of hope to be free from it one day. Many believe that its inspired from George Orwell’s nineteen eighty-four, but The Handmaid’s tale has many new things to offer. Its optimistic ending, which provides two futures and the fight over reproductive rights is what makes it different.
- Choker Bali – Rabindranath Tagore
It refers to Eye of the Sand. A story set in the backdrop of Bengali society. It narrates the life of a woman named Binodini, an educated woman who built her own path when her husband dies. A story of a woman who has lost her husband,A man who finds unable to control his heart, even after knowing he is wrong and a naive and gentle wife.It shows the complexity of feelings and the struggle of Binodini to find a new self. It also focuses on the restrictions put on the widows and the societal pressure on them which makes remarriage a taboo.
- An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
A Haiti tale by Roxane Gay is an intimidating one where a daughter returns to her country and faces life threats for thirteen days. An Untamed State is a psychological thriller which gives chills throughout the story.
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
It not just touches your heart, but shake you from inside out. It revolves around Afganistan from soviet to Taliban control. A narration, which depicts the oppression of two women suffering through domestic abuse and the war atmosphere.
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
It shows the status of women in American culture during 1982. A must read book dealing with sexism and racism and misery of a teenage girl sexually assaulted by her father.
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
This is an autobiography of poets and writers which tells that trauma and racism can be challenged by the creation of strong characters. A girl who grew up in the environment of racism and inferiority complex, but never loses hope and fight back with all power.
- Lihaf (The Quilt) – Ismat Chugtai (Short Story)
Lihaf meaning quilt depicts the story of a lesbian encounter between women living in a household. Ismat Chutgai has beautifully woven the character of Begum jan who stands as a female icon. This book raises questions on the norms set by the society which challenges sexual discrimination and raise questions about the societal values. In the year 1944 this book came as a bold step and Ismat Chugtai was charged for being obscene. Ismat refused to apologize and fought the case and won it too.
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
An attempt to speak the unspoken words of a teenage girl. Released during 1999.As it's literal meaning Speak is about communication between people and how thoughts are suppressed. Speak tells the thoughts and the inner struggle of Linda, a freshman at high school.
- Red Tent – Anita Diamant
It shows the story of Dinah, a small character from the bible and how she challenges the laws made by her father. Red tent refers to a place where women are bound to go during menstruation or giving birth. The red tent is an all woman's place where they all support each other.
- Palace of illusions by Chitra Banerjee Devakurni
This book has changed the whole perspective of Mahabharata. It goes into the mind of Draupadi to tell the whole story of Mahabharta through her perspective. An empowered story of girl who with time plays the role of a daughter, a princess, a wife and a queen.