International Women’s Day is for sharing and celebrating stories of what it means to be one of us in this world. What better way to enrich that understanding than reading the perspectives of other women? In honor of the day, here are seven new memoirs to read by women from Beijing, Nigeria, Vietnam, Texas and elsewhere around the globe.
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
In this graphic memoir, Bui documents her family’s flight from Vietnam in the late ’70s, when her own mother was eight months pregnant. After welcoming a new baby in a Malaysian refugee camp, the family continues on to the U.S., where Bui eventually becomes a mother herself.
Olive Witch by Abeer Y. Hoque
Hoque has spent her life straddling cultures. After a childhood in Nsukka, Nigeria, she and her Bangladeshi parents moved to suburban Pittsburgh when she was 13, and she remained in the state to study at the University of Pennsylvania. As she travels across continents, from San Francisco to Bangladesh, she weaves together the strands of her identity while struggling with depression.
Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee
On vacation in Tahoe for New Year’s, Lee woke up the on Dec. 31, 2016, with a horrible headache. Later that day, her field of vision rotated 90 degrees. At age 33, she had suffered a stroke, and went from possessing a photographic memory to struggling to find the right word for “shell bells” — eggs. She documented her crisis and its aftermath in a journal, which she has shared with world in the form of this book.
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
The New Yorker staff writer expands on her award-winning 2013 essay “Thanksgiving in Mongolia,” about the traumatic, premature end to her pregnancy while she was traveling on an assignment.
Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun Li
The short story writer and MacArthur fellow reflects on a life wrapped up in books, from her childhood in Beijing to her struggle with suicidal depression in America. “I wished…that life could be reset,” she writes, “but reset from when? From each point I could go to an earlier point.”
Grace Notes by Katey Sagal
The Married… with Children actress details her work in Hollywood and the series of personal tragedies that have marked her life, from her father’s accidental death to her own cancer diagnosis at age 28.
A Country Between by Stephanie Saldaña
What happens when a Texan poet and a French ex-monk begin their marriage in a home on Nablus Road, where Palestinian and Israeli Jerusalem meet? Saldaña explains in this memoir about becoming a mother in a precarious place.