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Friday, March 13, 2015

More Than A Storyteller!

This week we are continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month by highlighting some of our favorite female authors.  Not only have these women proved that they can tell a good story, but they have also inspired us with their words and ideas.   
J.K. Rowling is best known as the author of the Harry Potter series. The Harry Potter series has become the best selling book series in history, as well as the highest grossing film series in history.  In 2007, Forbes ranked Rowling as the forty-eighth most powerful celebrity. She has become known as one of the most influential women in Britain. 
Jacqueline Woodson is the author of many children and young adult novels.  She won the Coretta Scott King Award in 2001 for her novel Miracle's Boys and, in 2014, the National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming.  She also won the ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award in 2006.  The majority of Jacqueline Woodson's writing focuses on race, gender, and sexual identity.  

Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for her novel  Purple Hibiscus and the Orange Prize for her novel Half of a Yellow Sun. She also gave a TEDx in 2012 sharing her experience as an African feminist.  In April of 2014, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was named one of the 39 writers under 40 in the Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club project.

Isabel Allende has written 20 books that have been translated into 35 languages and has sold over 65 million copies.  She has received 50 awards in more than 15 countries.  She is also the founder of the Isabel Allende Foundation.  Isabel Allende's mission for this foundation is to give vulnerable women and children access to reproductive rights, healthcare, education, and protection from violence.  

Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison is best know for her inspiring novels The Blues Eyes, Sula, and Beloved.  She has won the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award, and the Nobel Prize for Literature.  In 2012, she was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Toni Morrison's latest book, God Help the Child, is set to be published in April 2015. 
Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri is an Indian American author best known for her 1999 short story collection The Interpreter of Maladies and her 2013 novel The Lowland.  She won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2000 for Maladies. She is a member of the President's Committee on the the Arts and Humanities, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013.  The majority of her literary work focuses on Indian immigrants coming to America.  She references her own experience and the experience of her parents when they first came to America.  An interesting fact about Jhumpa Lahiria is that her father worked as Librarian of the University of Rhode Island. 
Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, is highly recognized by her achievements as an author, civil rights activist, professor, and so much more.  She has worked with Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration.   Her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings influenced many other African-American feminist women in the 1970s to also share their writings.  Maya Angelou was the recipient of many awards for her literary works and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2010.  

We have only highlighted a few authors in this blog post; however, there are many more women authors that have equally inspired us with their power of words.  Check out these authors and many more at the Mississippi Library Commission or your local library.

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