To celebrate International Women’s Day 2018 and the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the UK, Penguin have launched a pop-up bookshop stocking female authors only.
In partnership with Waterstones, the Like A Woman Bookshop in Shoreditch will ‘showcase incredible female figures who have made a difference or fought for change #LikeAWoman: contributing to progress in politics, activism, writing, art, science, sports, culture, and more.’
Continuing its innovative theme, the shop will categorise books based on the author’s impact on society, including ‘Essential feminist reads’, ‘Inspiring young readers’, ‘Women to watch’, ‘Your body’ and ‘Changemakers’, as opposed to the conventional alphabetical layout.
Of these authors, notable names include Malorie Blackman, Iris Murdoch, Caitlin Moran, Malala Yousafzai, Zadie Smith, Margaret Atwood, Anne Frank, Elif Shafak, Simone de Beauvoir and Virginia Woolf.
According to Zainab Juma, creative manager at Penguin Random House: ‘Women’s voices being heard and taken seriously is key to achieving gender equality, and with the Like A Woman Bookshop we’re making room for those voices to be elevated and celebrated. We’re creating a space where readers can look to incredible writers, activists and pioneers for the inspiration to go forward and make change like a woman.’
The pop-up is one of a number of recent initiatives launched to support female voices within the typically male-dominated world of publishing. And Other Stories, a small Sheffield-based independent publisher, decided to publish only female authors in 2018, following calls from author Kamila Shamsie for all publishers to withhold printing books by men in an attempt to rebalance the output.
The Like A Woman pop-up will run from Monday to Friday, and will also host several talks including ‘Life Lessons from Remarkable Women’ with the executive editor of Stylist Magazine, ‘Women at Work’, a live recording of the Live.Life.Better podcast and ‘The Female Gaze’, an evening of essays and stories.