Reads for the Rest of Us: The Most Anticipated Feminist Books of 2024

The Feminist Know-It-All: You know her. You can’t stand her. Good thing she’s not here! Instead, this column by gender and women’s studies librarian Karla Strand will amplify stories of the creation, access, use and preservation of knowledge by women and girls around the world; share innovative projects and initiatives that focus on information, literacies, libraries and more; and, of course, talk about all of the books.

It’s been a rough year … oh wait, it’s only February. This is my Most Anticipated List, not my end-of-year Best Of list! Apologies, it feels as though we’ve already been through it … because we have.

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to think about anything other than violence and injustice lately. Then you add the daily grind of work, caring for children or aging parents, school, politics, book banning, the attacks on education and the rest, and it is no wonder we all feel exhausted and overwhelmed. 

Dare I say: Don’t despair? 

It’s easy for me to say, and I recognize the luck and privilege I’m afforded. But while many are in the depths, it’s vital for others of us to have hope. To breathe and take up space for them. To use our voices and power for them.

So, gather your person or people around. Cry or laugh or organize. Spend some time alone. Move your body, create or enjoy the art of others. Care for yourself and others. Write and read. 

Yes, read. 

Reading shouldn’t have to be a privilege or a luxury reserved for some. As a kid, I needed reading to feel safe, seen and whole. I’m not exaggerating when I say it saved my life several times. Even when I couldn’t afford to buy books, I was a regular at the library. Books helped me learn, question and calm myself. I felt like the writers understood me and possessed the otherworldly talent to express what I only dreamed of being able to. Reading encouraged ideas, visualization and imagination. 

With books, I wasn’t alone. Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels—you name it. I could find myself and others in stories and witnessing from around the world or in my own backyard. Books gave me strength, attention and solace. They taught me the importance of compassion, empathy and action.

I know that when you are just trying to eat and stay safe and live, books are not the priority. We should all be safe enough to wonder what our next book will be, instead of where we’ll find our next meal, our next quiet night’s sleep or our next place to call home. Books can be a comfort in dark times. They can provide understanding and light. They provide ideas, knowledge and the bravery to speak up when others cannot and to act on their behalf. 

So I read to feel. Read and reflect. Read and take action. We all have gifts to share and strengths to utilize for others who need our help. Let books inspire you to find and develop your own power and courage to be a support through someone’s dark time. Let them relax you so you can get up and fight another day.

I am looking for these 100 books to be of service to me so that I might be of service to others. I hope you’ll find some here that will do the same for you.   

I’m proud to say that I’ve always focused on independent and university publishers, debut writers and, of course, authors of the global majority. By this, I mean writers who are women, queer, aro/ace, intersex, trans, nonbinary or gender expansive; those who are fat, neurodivergent, poly, sex workers, immigrants, justice-involved or speak English as a second or third language; those who have, for any number of reasons, been marginalized or excluded. 

While some of the big publishers have slipped in, it’s only on the talent or reputation of the author or because an imprint is doing some valuable work. Because of this focus, you may notice that I’ve not included some of the year’s most talked-about books on this list. It’s not that I think they are not deserving or that you shouldn’t read them; I just want to shine a light on those that are just as deserving (or more so), but that might not have the funding or marketing machines behind them. 

But let’s face it, there are so many books and writers who are deserving of your attention this year. So you can’t go wrong with any book you may pick up. And time is short! This is why I described each book with a few words or a phrase that described why or how it stood out to me instead of writing a few lines about each as I usually do. Please note that release dates may change. 

So, let’s read. Read and encourage others to do so. Gift books to others. Read one and pass it on. Visit and support your local libraries. But please read. Read as though your life (or someone else’s) depends on it. Because it just might. 


All In: Cancer, Near Death, New Life

By Caitlin Breedlove (@breedlovecaitlin). AK Press. 152 pages. Out now.

Emergent strategy, memoir, lessons for life.


Behind You Is the Sea: A Novel 

By Susan Muaddi Darraj (@susandarraj). HarperVia. 256 pages. Out now.

Palestinian, full spectrum, fiction debut.


Broughtupsy: A Novel 

by Christina Cooke (@christina.j.cooke). Catapult. 240 pages. Out now.

Debut, Jamaican, sisterhood.


Abolition: Politics, Practices, Promises, Vol. 1 

By Angela Y. Davis. Haymarket. 300 pages. Out now.

Angela Davis, Angela Davis, Angela Davis.


A Short History of Trans Misogyny 

By Jules Gill-Peterson (@gpjulesss). Verso. 192 pages. Out now.

Intersectional trans feminism.


Of Greed and Glory: In Pursuit of Freedom for All 

By Deborah G. Plant. Amistad. 288 pages. Out now.

Clear-eyed, critical, holistic.


The Best That You Can Do: Stories

By Amina Gautier. Soft Skull. 240 pages. Out Jan. 16.

Diaspora, shine, duality.


Madness: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum 

By Antonia Hylton (@ahylton26). Legacy Lit. 368 pages. Out Jan. 23.

Crownsville Hospital, (mis)treatment, legacy. 


Bless the Blood: A Cancer Memoir

By Walela Nehanda (@itswalela). Kokila. 400 pages. Out Feb. 6.

Debut, lyricism, determination. 


Greta & Valdin: A Novel

By Rebecca K Reilly (Ngaati Hine, Ngaati Rehua Ngaatiwai ki Aotea) (@rebeccakreilly). Avid Reader Press. 352 pages. Out Feb. 5. 

Queer, Maaori-Russian-Catalonian, family. 


Imagination: A Manifesto

By Ruha Benjamin (@ruha9). W.W. Norton & Co. 192 pages. Out Feb. 6.

Dreams, possibilities, collective liberation.


Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America

By Joy-Ann Reid (@joyannreid). Mariner Books. 352 pages. Out Feb. 6.

Love at first sight, resistance, heroism.



By Alexis Wright (Waanyi). New Directions. 672 pages. Out Feb. 6. 

Carpentaria, donkeys, allegory.



By Hannah Levene. Nightboat Books. 172 pages. Out Feb. 13. 

Experimental, butch, anarchy.


Wake Up America: Black Women on the Future of Democracy

By Keisha N. Blain (@keishanblain). W. W. Norton & Company. 256 pages. Out Feb. 13. 

Essays, empowerment, urgent.


Become Ungovernable: An Abolition Feminist Ethic for Democratic Living

By H.L.T. Quan. Pluto Press. 336 pages. Out Feb. 20. 

Rooted, radicalism, refusal.


Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit: Essays

By Aisha Sabatini Sloan (@aishasabslo). Graywolf. 160 pages. Out Feb. 20. 

Blackness, darkness, awakening.


Last to Eat, Last to Learn: My Life in Afghanistan Fighting to Educate Women

By Pashtana Durrani (@Afghania_Barakzai) with Tamara Bralo. Citadel. 224 pages. Out Feb. 20. 

Educate, inspire, LEARN


Vagabond Princess: The Great Adventures of Gulbadan

By Ruby Lal. Yale University Press. 280 pages. Out Feb. 27. 

Original, trailblazer, rediscovery.


Whiskey Tender: A Memoir

By Deborah Taffa (Quechan (Yuma) Nation and Laguna Pueblo) (@deborahtaffa). Harper. 304 pages. Out Feb. 27.

Tradition, legacy, survivance.


Inside the Mirror: A Novel

By Parul Kapur (@parulkapurwriter) University of Nebraska Press. 358 pages. Out Mar. 2. 

Gender roles, art, reimagination.


Metaracism: How Systemic Racism Devastates Black Lives―and How We Break Free

By Tricia Rose (@proftriciarose). Basic Books. 288 pages. Out Mar. 5.

Meta, pioneering, just. 


Thunder Song: Essays

By Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe (Coast Salish). Counterpoint. 256 pages. Out Mar. 5.

Proudly, queerly, Indigenously.


You Get What You Pay For: Essays

By Morgan Parker (@morganapple0). One World. 224 pages. Out Mar. 12.

Memoir, existence, (de/re)construction.


Love the World or Get Killed Trying

By Alvina Chamberland (@alvinachamberland). Noemi Press. 274 pages. Out Mar. 15. 

Raw, generous, autofiction.


Fighting Mad: Resisting the End of Roe v. Wade

Edited by Krystale E. Littlejohn and Rickie Solinger. University of California Press. 392 pages. Out Mar. 19.

Voice, choice, autonomy.


Mother Island: A Daughter Claims Puerto Rico

By Jamie Figueroa. Pantheon. 272 pages. Out Mar. 19. 

Assimilation, (un/re)learning, reclamation.


Who’s Afraid of Gender?

By Judith Butler. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 320 pages. Out Mar. 19.

Iconic, fear, refusal. 


Wilderness and the American Spirit

By Ruby McConnell (@rubygonewild). Overcup Press. 288 pages. Out Mar. 19.

Cost, scarcity, (re)creation.


Woman, Life, Freedom

Created by Marjane Satrapi. Translated by Una Dimitrijevic. Seven Stories Press. 272 pages. Out Mar. 19. 

Uprising, collectivity, continuance.


Refusals and Reinventions: Engendering New Indigenous and Black Life Across the Americas

By Daniel Ìgbín’bí Coleman. Ohio State University Press. 186 pages. Out Mar. 25.

Creativity, (de)colonialism, pluriverse.


The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic: Reconstruction, 1860-1920

By Manisha Sinha (@ProfMSinha). Liveright. 592 pages. Out Mar. 26.

Reminder: History repeats.


Silver Repetition: A Novel

By Lily Wang. The New Press. 272 pages. Out Mar. 26.

Debut, coming of age, sensory.


The Book Censor’s Library

Written by Bothayna Al-Essa (@bothayna_alessa). Translated by Ranya Abdelrahman and Sawad Hussain (@sawadhussain). Restless Books. 272 pages. Out Apr. 2.

Orwellian, warning, satire?


The Jinn Daughter: A Novel

By Rania Hanna (@rania_the_writer). Hoopoe. 274 pages. Out Apr. 2.

Death, magic, debut.


The Rocks Will Echo Our Sorrow: The Forced Displacement of the Northern Sámi

Written by Elin Anna Labba (@elin_anna). Translated by Fiona Graham. University of Minnesota Press. 168 pages. Out Apr. 2.

Scandinavian indigeneity, bággojohtin (forced displacement), sirdolaččat (the displaced).


Wild Life: Finding My Purpose in an Untamed World

By Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant (@raewynngrant). Get Lifted Books. 288 pages. Out Apr. 2. 

Ecology, balance, responsibility.


Crazy Like a Fox: Adventures in Schizophrenia

By Christi Furnas (@christifurnas). Street Noise Books. 240 pages. Out Apr. 9.

Graphic novel, debut, working on it. 


To Advance the Race: Black Women’s Higher Education from the Antebellum Era to the 1960s

By Linda M. Perkins. University of Illinois Press. 408 pages. Out Apr. 9.

Groundbreaking, intersections, commitment.


In the Shadow of Liberty: The Invisible History of Immigrant Detention in the United States

By Ana Raquel Minian. Viking. 384 pages. Out Apr. 16.

Urgency, profit, (unnecessary) loss.


My Vietnam, Your Vietnam

By Christina Vo (@stina_vo) and Nghia M. Vo. Three Rooms Press. 320 pages. Out Apr. 16.

Father, daughter, reconciliation, hope. 


They Fell Like Stars from the Sky & Other Stories

Written by Sheikha Helawy. Translated by Nancy Roberts. Neem Tree Press. 128 pages. Out Apr. 16.

Palestinian, margins, brave curiosity.


Firekeeper: A Novel

By Katłıà (Dene) (@katlia11). Roseway Publishing. 176 pages. Out Apr. 18.

Colonialism, coming of age, community.


I Just Keep Talking: A Life in Essays

By Nell Irvin Painter (@nellpainter). Doubleday. 464 pages. Out Apr. 23. 

Critical, artistic, complex. 


Disability Intimacy: Essays on Love, Care, and Desire

By Alice Wong (@disability_visibility). Vintage. 384 pages. Out April 30.

Anthology, sex and love and joy.


Feminism Against Cisness

Edited by Emma Heaney (@riislover667). Duke University Press. 280 pages. Out May 3.

Anthology, intervention, solidarity.


One Second at a Time: My Story of Pain and Reclamation

Written by Diane Morrisseau (Sagkeeng First Nation) with Elisabeth Brannigan. Purich Press. 180 pages. Out May 6.

Residential school, cycles, healing. 


The Brides of High Hill

By Nghi Vo. Tordotcom. 128 pages. Out May 7.

Queer, gothic, mysterious.


How It Works Out: A Novel

By Myriam Lacroix (@myriamontheoutside). The Overlook Press. 240 pages. Out May 7.

Promise, profanity, plurality. 


Not a River: A Novel

Written by Selva Almada (@selva.almada). Translated by Annie McDermott. Graywolf Press. 104 pages. Out May 7.

Memory, masculinity, magic.


Peacocks of Instagram: Stories

By Deepa Rajagopalan (@deerajagopalan). Astoria. 256 pages. Out May 7. 

Diasporic, layered, loving.  


Troubled Waters

By Mary Annaïse Heglar (@mary.annaise). Harper Muse. 384 pages. Out May 7.

Climate, race, resistance.


Unbuild Walls: Why Immigrant Justice Needs Abolition

By Silky Shah (@silkys13). Haymarket Books. 256 pages. Out May 7.

Tear down the wall(s)!


Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk

By Kathleen Hanna (@mskathleenhanna). Ecco. 336 pages. Out May 14.

Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, The Julie Ruin.



Written by Layla Martinez (@lay_martinezvicente). Translated by Sophie Hughes and Annie McDermott. Two Lines Press. 144 pages. Out May 14.

Ghosts, angels, saints.


Cactus Country: A Boyhood Memoir

By Zoë Bossiere (@zoebossiere). Abrams Press. 272 pages. Out May 21.

Class, gender, self-determination. 


Exhibit: A Novel

By R. O. Kwon (@ro.kwon). Riverhead Books. 224 pages. Out May 21.

Ambition, desire, fire. 


The Story Game

By Shze-Hui Tjoa (@shzehui). Tin House Books. 208 pages. Out May 21.

Remembering, listening, telling. 


Undue Burden: Life and Death Decisions in Post-Roe America

By Shefali Luthra (@shefali.luthra). Doubleday. 368 pages. Out May 21.

Fragile, treacherous, revelatory.


Medicine Wheel for the Planet: A Journey Toward Personal and Ecological Healing

By Jennifer Grenz (Nlaka’pamux mixed ancestry). University of Minnesota Press. 280 pages. Out May 28.

Story, ecology, vision.


Poverty for Profit: How Corporations Get Rich off America’s Poor

By Anne Kim. The New Press. 352 pages. Out May 28.  

“Corporate poverty complex.”


A Witch’s Guide to Burning

By Aminder Dhaliwal (@aminder_d). Drawn and Quarterly. 400 pages. Out May 28.

Balance, burnout, self-care.


An Endangered Species: A Novel

By Frances Washburn (Lakota). Bison Books. 304 pages. Out June 1.

Family, survival, swans.


Breaking the Curse: A Memoir about Trauma, Healing, and Italian Witchcraft

By Alex DiFrancesco (@Alex_JKPGender). Seven Stories Press. 192 pages. Out June 4.

Struggle, spirituality, security.


Namesake: Reflections on a Warrior Woman

By N.S. Nuseibeh ( Olive Branch Press. 288 pages. Out June 4. 

Feminism, Palestinian heritage, home. 


We Refuse: A Forceful History of Black Resistance

By Kellie Carter Jackson (@kelliecarterjackson). Seal Press. 304 pages. Out June 4.

By any means necessary.


Tiananmen Square: A Novel

By Lai Wen. Spiegel & Grau. 528 pages. Out June 4.

Friendship, demonstration, idealism.


Out of the Sierra: A Story of Rarámuri Resistance

By Victoria Blanco. Coffee House Press. 328 pages. Out June 11. 

Indigenous knowledge, intimacy, testimony.



Written by Lau Yee-Wa. Translated by Jennifer Feeley. Feminist Press. 280 pages. Out June 11.

Language, loss, Hong Kong.


Zan: Stories

By Suzi Ehtesham-Zadeh. Dzanc Books. Out June 11. 

Empire, Iran, itinerant. 

Winner of the 2022 Dzanc Short Collection Prize


Craft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil

By Ananda Lima (@anandalima). Tor Books. 192 pages. Out June 18. 

Devilish, divine, debut.


Hood Wellness: Tales of Communal Care from People Who Drowned on Dry Land

By Tamela J. Gordon (@shewritestolive). Row House Publishing. 312 pages. Out June 18.

Tremendous, defiant, transformative. 


Night Flyer: Harriet Tubman and the Faith Dreams of a Free People

By Tiya Miles (@TiyaMiles). Penguin. 336 pages. Out June 18. 

Mysticism, kinship, truth.


Systemic: How Racism is Making Us Sick

By Layal Liverpool (@layallivs). Astra House. 320 pages. Out June 18.

Disparity, consequences, facts.


Little Rot: A Novel

By Akwaeke Emezi. Riverhead Books. 288 pages. Out June 18. 

Nigeria, novel, escape. 


The Eyes Are the Best Part

By Monika Kim (@monikakimauthor). Erewhon Books. 288 pages. Out June 25.

Feminist, Korean, serial killer. 


Please Stop Trying to Leave Me: A Novel

By Alana Saab (@alana.saab). Vintage. 384 pages. Out June 25.

Debut, contemporary, queer AF. 


Age 16

By Rosena Fung (@rosenafung). Annick Press. 312 pages. Out Jul. 2.

Graphic novel, beauty standards, generations.



By O.O. Sangoyomi (@oosangoyomi). Forge Books. 352 pages. Out Jul. 2.

Epic 15th-century West African debut.


The Night of Baba Yaga

Written by Akira Otani. Translated by Sam Bett (@sambett). Soho Crime. 216 pages. Out Jul. 2.

Explosive, queer, yakuza. 


The Coin: A Novel

By Yasmin Zaher. Catapult. 240 pages. Out Jul. 9.

Honor, homeland, inheritance. 


Elevator in Saigon

Written by Thuân (@thuan_ecrivaine). Translated by Nguyen An Lý. New Directions. 192 pages. Out Jul. 9.

Thriller, ghost story, still banned in Vietnam.


The Lucky Ones: A Memoir

By Zara Chowdhary (@zarachowdhary). Crown. 288 pages. Out Jul. 16.

India, violence, testimony.


What If We Get It Right?: Visions of Climate Futures

By Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (@ayanaeliza). One World. 512 pages. Out Jul. 16.

Imagination, possibility, transformation.


A Passionate Mind in Relentless Pursuit: The Vision of Mary McLeod Bethune

By Noliwe Rooks (@noliwerooks). Penguin Press. 208 pages. Out Jul. 23. 

Education, dedication, liberation.


Brittle Joints

By Maria Sweeney (@moldovamaria). Street Noise Books. 160 pages. Out Aug. 6.

Disability, creativity, comfort. 


A Body Made Home: They Black Trans Love

By K. Marshall Green (@drDrummerBoiG). Feminist Press. 208 pages. Out Aug. 13. 

Memoir, mythology, transformation.


In Exile: Rupture, Reunion, and My Grandmother’s Secret Life

By Sadiya Ansari (@sadeyea). House of Anansi. 224 pages. Out Aug. 13. 

Secrets, expectations, belonging.


The Italy Letters

By Vi Khi Nao (@vikhinao). Melville House. 192 pages. Out Aug. 13. 

Queer, sensual, “literary fantasia.”


Bearing Witness: Prison Stories from a Woman’s Fight Against Fascism

Written by Mercedes Núñez Targa. Translated by Nick Caistor and Faye Williams. Pluto Press. 240 pages. Out Aug. 20. 

Spanish, radical, remarkable.


Black and Asian Feminist Solidarities: An Anthology

Edited by Rachel Kuo (@rachelkuo), Jaimee Swift (@JaimeeSwift) and Tiffany Tso. Haymarket. 384 pages. Out Aug. 20. 

Singular, significant, essential.


Loving Corrections

By adrienne maree brown (@adriennemareebrown). AK Press. 200 pages. Out Aug. 20. 

Reflection, relationship, accountability.


Survival Is a Promise: The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde

By Alexis Pauline Gumbs (@alexispauline). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 544 pages. Out Aug. 20.

Alexis and Audre? Audre and Alexis!


The Unicorn Woman

By Gayl Jones. Beacon Press. 224 pages. Out Aug. 20. 

Inspiration, idealism, injustice.


The Knowing

By Tanya Talaga (Anishinaabe/Polish) (@TanyaTalaga). HarperCollins. 320 pages. Out Aug. 27.

Canada, generations, genocide.

Autumn and Beyond

Frighten the Horses

Oliver Radclyffe (@oliverradclyffe). Roxane Gay Books. Out Sept. 17.

Memoir, identity, truth.


We Will Be Jaguars: A Memoir of My People

By Nemonte Nenquimo (@nemonte.nenquimo) with Mitch Anderson. Abrams Press. 288 pages. Out Sept. 17.

Ecuador, Amazon, astonishing. 


Come By Here: A Memoir in Essays from Georgia’s Geechee Coast

By Neesha Powell-Ingabire (@womanistbae). Hub City Press. 224 pages. Out Sept. 24. 

Debut, working, witnessing.


Dog Days

Written by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim (@keumsukgendrykim). Translated by Janet Hong (@JanetHong333). Drawn and Quarterly. 212 pages. Out Oct. 22.

Family, trust, translation.


Beyond the Mountains: An Immigrant’s Inspiring Journey of Healing and Learning to Dance with the Universe

By Deja Vu Prem. Counterpoint. 256 pages. Out Nov. 19.

Philippines, faith, freedom.


Up next:

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Karla J. Strand is the gender and women’s studies librarian for the University of Wisconsin. She completed her doctorate in information science via University of Pretoria in South Africa with a background in history and library science, and her research centers on the role of libraries and knowledge in empowering women and girls worldwide. Tweet her @karlajstrand.