While it’s impossible to capture the nuances and richness of the female experience, the following 10 books present unique, moving portraits of being a woman.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza, a young Latina girl growing up in inner-city Chicago. In a series of fractured vignettes, Esperanza details the mental and physical growing pains of female adolescence, while observing the lives of women around her, from grandmothers to cousins and from neighbors to friends. This is a coming-of-age tale that explores the intersections of race, gender, and class, as young Esperanza navigates a world in which the odds are stacked against her.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emechata
In this moving novel, Buchi Emecheta describes the life of a Nnu Ego, a mother raising her children in a Nigerian village that is being forced to rapidly adapt to colonialism. Emechata paints a heart-wrenching portrait of the self-sacrifice that motherhood demands, something Nnu Ego likens to slavery.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
In its form alone, Zora Neale Hurston’s seminal novel is a testament to the bond between women: the entire novel is played out in a conversation between Janie Crawford and her best friend, Phoeby. As a result, we’re given an elaborate, honest, and colloquial account of Janie’s life, as she details her experiences of love and liberation in the American South of the early 20th century.
The Little Disturbances of Man by Grace Paley
Grace Paley’s debut short story collection explores the private lives and relationships of women in 1950s New York. In quick, comic prose, Paley mocks the notion of women’s ‘everyday’ domestic grievances, as her characters wrestle with poverty, hardship, and abuse.
The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
In five interconnected chapters, Maxine Hong Kingston recounts her mother’s various Chinese talk-stories, and considers them in the context of her life as a modern Chinese-American woman. The Woman Warrior is an imaginative rumination on how the traditional values held by our foremothers impact the way we view ourselves and move through the world today.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood’s now classic 1985 dystopian novel envisions a world in which women have lost all autonomy under a totalitarian, theocratic regime that has overthrown the United States. We experience this world through the eyes of Offred, a handmaid who has been ‘assigned’ as a concubine to a wealthy man and his barren wife. Offred describes the rites and rituals of womanhood – from her menstrual cycle to the monthly ‘ceremony’, in which she is forced to sleep with her commander – with startling, visceral, and often poetic detail. Recently adapted into an award-winning TV series, Offred’s story has become more frighteningly relevant now than ever before.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
As children, two young black girls bond over their dream of being professional dancers, and share their formative years growing up on the same London council estate. We follow their journey into their twenties and beyond, and watch their friendship fracture as they forge their own lives. Demonstrating her talent for telling compelling stories about modern womanhood, Zadie Smith’s latest novel Swing Time offers a rich, vibrant tale of the ever-evolving nature of female friendship and the pursuit of personal ambition.
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Jeanette Winterson’s semi-autobiographical novel Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit describes the life of a lesbian girl growing up in a highly devout community. Winterson’s religious upbringing seeps into every part of young Jeanette’s story, as she frames her experiences through the lens of the Bible, employing Biblical imagery, references, and even narrative conventions. In Oranges…, Winterson offers us a charming story of a young girl’s defiant journey in self-acceptance.
Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro
Young Del Jordan struggles to come to terms with the often disappointing reality of life in small town Canada, one that poses a stark difference to her own expectations. Despite struggling to identify with the projections of femininity she encounters, and becoming jaded by her family life and first sexual encounters, Del is resolute in her determination to live out the life she envisions for herself. In Lives of Girls and Women, Alice Munro offers a vital, life-affirming coming-of-age tale.
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
While technically not a work of fiction, Woolf’s magnificent extended essay on creating a space for women in the literary world is complete with a narrator, characters, and beautifully poetic prose to boot. Woolf’s narrator walks us through classrooms, universities, and various other male-dominated spaces, and contemplates where women fit within them. A Room of One’s Own continues to be a widely studied and acclaimed feminist text; any list on women’s writing would be incomplete without it.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
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WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.