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Reads for International Women's Day

On March 8th, people around the world will come together to celebrate International Women’s Day 2023. IWD recognizes and upholds the worldwide achievements of women. This year’s observance is more important than ever. In 2022,  there were alarming assaults on the rights of women in North America and globally.

International Women’s Day  was officially recognized by the United Nations in 1977, but its origins harken back to women-led labour protests in the early 20th century. Now, in the early 21st century, the fight for gender equality has not ended. Today, the continuing need for collective action on gender-based issues ranging from women’s rights, peace, and inequities in education to gender-based violence, discrimination, and climate change are all a part of IWD.

As a contribution to IWD, Goose Lane has curated a collection of books that explore the diverse experiences of women and non-binary people that celebrates the strength of trailblazers, innovators, and survivors, and honours those who died as a direct result of violence against women.


Mercy Gene: The Man-Made Making of a Mad Woman by JD Derbyshire
An unforgettably sardonic tour-de-force. In this powerful, genre-smashing debut work of auto-fiction, non-binary playwright and comedian JD Derbyshire offers a beautiful, humorous, and sometimes brutal look at queerness, gender confusion, institutionalization, addiction, and abuse.

This Is the House That Luke Built by Violet Browne
Part novel, part fable, part essay on grief, Violet Browne’s debut novel moves between past and present to explore existential questions about what it means to be alive in a world shadowed with grief.  

The Gunsmith’s Daughter by Margaret Sweatman
Margaret Sweatman’s portrait of a brilliant gunsmith and his eighteen-year-old daughter tells an engrossing story of ruthless ambition and one young woman’s journey toward independence.

Daughters of Silence by Rebecca Fisseha
Psychologically astute and buoyed by metaphor and the vibrant colours of Ethiopia, Daughters of Silence follows Dessie as she assembles the pieces of family secrets in the wake of her mother’s death.

Mercy Gene cover This Is the House That Luke Built cover The Gunsmith's Daughter cover Daughters of Silence cover


Wanda’s War: An Untold Story of Nazi Europe, Forced Labour, and a Canadian Immigration Scandal  by Marsha Faubert
Made to work in a Nazi forced labour camp during the Second World War, Wanda Gizmunt became one of 100 young Polish women brought to Canada with the hope of freedom only to find herself in a different form of captivity.

My Daughter Rehtaeh Parsons by Glen Canning with Susan McClelland
The story of Rehtaeh Parsons, a gifted teenager who was cyber-bullied by her peers after sexually explicit photos of her were shared without her consent. This unsparing telling of Rehtaeh’s story sheds light on the social forces that enable and perpetuate violence and misogyny among teenagers.

Alexa! Changing the Face of Canadian Politics by Stephen Kimber
This is the story of the first female leader of a mainstream Canadian political party. Alexa McDonough went from “wife-of” to “leader-of” and became one of Canada’s most beloved politicians with her lifelong advocacy of progressive causes.

Aloha Wanderwell: The Border-Smashing, Record-Setting Life of the World’s Youngest Explorer by Christian Fink-Jensen & Randolph Eustace-Walden
Aloha Wanderwell is a name that should appear among the likes of Amelia Earhart and Nelly Bly. This Canadian-born explorer was only 15 when she set out in a modified Model T Ford to accomplish her dream of becoming the first woman to drive around the world.

Wanda's War cover My Daughter Rehtaeh Parsons cover Alexa! cover Aloha Wanderwell cover


The Program by Megan Fennya Jones
An undeniably gorgeous debut collection that draws on Jones’s experience as an international model to pull readers deep into an examination of how bodies are viewed and discussed by others, and the impact of unrealistic beauty standards on mental health.

Poisonous If Eaten Raw by Alyda Faber
Twenty years after her mother’s death, Faber untethers herself from the mother she thinks she knows with wild analogies, depicting her mother variously as King Lear’s Kent, a Camperdown elm, a black-capped chickadee, Pope Innocent X, a funnel spider, and more.

Myself a Paperclip by Triny Finlay
Deeply personal and reflective, Myself A Paperclip confronts abuse and experiences with debilitating mental illnesses, therapies, and hospitalizations, all shaped into the remarkable form of a serial long poem.

The Witch of the Inner Wood: Collected Long Poems by M. Travis Lane
Bringing together the long poems of M. Travis Lane, The Witch of the Inner Wood constitutes an important addition to the canon of Canadian literature and to the canon of feminist literature in North America.

The Program cover Poisonous If Eaten Raw cover Myself a Paperclip cover The Witch of the Inner Wood cover

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