International Women’s Day – 8th March 2018

Are you ever at loss at how to spend International Woman’s Day? Do you feel as though the token speeches by powerful men at lunches for other powerful men are not quite meeting your feminist requirement? Well you could always come to the library and read a relatable and inspirational book that was actually written by a woman instead .

SLQ is also holding an event for International Woman’s Day on the 8th March at 5.30pm – You, Me and a cup of tea. Come and hear personal stories from a panel of inspirational women, share your own stories through conversations and recording booths, write a postcard to a woman who is living through adversity and be a part of a global movement leading positive change. For more information about the event go to our website or our facebook page.

Women all over the world are giving voice to our lives. They are smart, angry, powerful and  viciously funny. They tell harsh, sweet, vibrant and painful stories about how women exist in this world. This is a feminist act. We, here at the State Library of Queensland invite you to delve into these words and bath in the AWE-some things women say and do.

Here at the State Library of Queensland you are able to take some of our collections home with you. Below is a list of items we have on display that, if you are a member, you can borrow.

This is a collection of short stories from an Australian writer who has been challenging a white Australia mentality since putting pen to paper. It was shortlisted for the Stella Prize in 2015 as was her memoir ‘The Hate Race’ in 2017.

This is a collection of personal and political experiences from young women about what feminism is for them.  Although young women have been publicly silent in the past, they are neither indifferent, nor dispassionate about feminism. This book shows the diversity and depth of young women’s ideas.

The story of the Eureka rebellion may be one of modern Australia’s foundation myths, but until now it has been told as though only half the participants were there. As Clare Wright reveals, there were many women at large on the goldfields, most of whom were active in pivotal roles. This book won the Stella Prize in 2014.

This item is also available for loan as an ebook – if you would like to know more about accessing ebooks at SLQ you can read this blog post.

Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith’s novels are like nothing else. How to be Both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real – and all life’s givens get given a second chance.

A book of fairy tales where the women are more than one-dimensional, fainting, subjects but protagonists with a story to tell.

Maybe not as directly feminist as the other selections on this list however anything that Naomi Klein – powerful activist for the environment and marginalised peoples and against capitalism – has penned is by its very nature a fight for women’s equality.

Black Women have always known about white feminism. It is important in the fight for female emancipation not to marginalise woman of colour and let them speak. This book brings that voice to the discussion.

‘Two remarkable women tell an inspirational story about the power of family and pursuing your dreams.

 Lesley Williams is forced to leave Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement and her family at a young age to work as a domestic servant. Apart from a bit of pocket money, Lesley never sees her wages – they are kept ‘safe’ for her and for countless others just like her. She is taught not to question her life, until desperation makes her start to wonder, where is all that money she earned?

 So begins a nine-year journey for answers which will test every ounce of her resolve.

 Inspired by her mother’s quest, a teenage Tammy Williams enters a national writing competition with an essay about injustice. The winning prize takes Tammy and Lesley to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and ultimately to the United Nations in Geneva.

 Along the way, they find courage they never thought they had and friendship in the most unexpected places.’ From the website: Not Just Black and White

This item is available for loan as an ebook – if you would like to know more about accessing ebooks at SLQ you can read this blog post.


As a State Library we are responsible for collecting items for future generations too. As a result we have a large non-lending library. We have retrieved a few items from this collection for you to look at on Level 4 in our John Oxley Library. Among these are Clementine Ford’s ‘Fight Like a Girl’ and Kristina Olsson’s ‘Boy, Lost’.

And because the scope of wonderful feminist writing is huge, here is a list of items well worth reading that we don’t have at the SLQ. You’ll find some of them at your local Brisbane City Council Library or our SLQ Library Shop. If they don’t have the book, they will be more than happy to order it in. If you believe it is a book we should have included in our collection then you can make a suggestion here using the Online Feedback Form under the heading ‘Tell Us’. Our selection team will then decide if the book aligns with our collection development policy.


  1. Am I Black Enough For You?  / Anita Heiss
  2. Bad Feminist / Roxane Gay
  3. Difficult Women / Roxane Gay
  4. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman / Lindy West
  5. The hate race / Maxine Beneba-Clark (Stella Prize nominee 2017)
  6. We Should All Be Feminists / Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  7. Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions / Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  8. Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America / Melissa Harris-Perry
  9. My Brilliant Friend / Elena Ferrante,
  10. The Mother Of All Questions / Rebecca Solnit
  11. Adult Fantasy / Briohny Doyle
  12. Poum and Alexandre / Catherine de Saint Phalle
  13. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness / Arundhati Roy


Feminist writing is also giving voice to women in the form of ground-breaking essays and articles. Below is a very small selection from the wealth of writing on the subject.


Leela Wittmer