September 2021 Reads for the Rest of Us

Enjoy this month’s list of 30 feminist books from writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, LGBIA+, queer, disabled, and more. This list has given me new knowledge, deeper empathy, broader perspectives, much-needed laughter and increased inspiration. I hope you find something here that does the same for you. 

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Iranian Rights Lawyer, Home Temporarily: “We Are Hoping for a Better Future That Can Protect Us”

Iranian human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh is home from prison on temporary medical leave. That is a simple thing to write, but there is so much emotion, strength, sacrifice, vision and history involved. And so much at stake in what will come next.

“It’s very difficult to be there,” she continued, “but I carry a sense of beauty that is very sustaining from making new friends and having an opportunity to continue my work. For instance, an hour before leaving I was advising a particular prisoner about her legal case. I can help these women appeal for their rights and freedom. That is deeply rewarding.'”

On June 13, the Whole World Should Be Watching Iran, Demanding Justice and Calling to #FreeNahid and #FreeThemAll

“Propaganda against the state.” That’s one of the most frequent charges in politically motivated imprisonments in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Translated, it means “Thinking is forbidden and talking about your thoughts is a crime.”

My mother’s case burst my bubble and woke me up: Her case was not an exception, but a fate shared by hundreds if not thousands.

“Unbearable”: Reza Khandan, Husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh, on the Ground in Iran’s Qarchak Prison

“My wife Nasrin Sotoudeh has been unjustly and cruelly imprisoned since June 2018 for her legal work representing Iranian human rights and women’s rights activists. … I call on the United Nations to conduct an independent investigation into all of Iran’s prisons, and for Qarchak women’s prison to be immediately closed. The dignity, health and safety of women, children and families everywhere demands no less.”

The Ms. Q&A: Activist and Artist Parastou Forouhar Is Fighting for the “Iran That Could Have Been”

Artist and activist Parastou Forouhar was born and raised in Iran, but in 1991, under threat of persecution due to her family’s dissident views and her status as an artist and woman, she left Iran. But she continues to speak out for what she calls the “democratic cohort” in Iran—”so that the regime in Iran knows that these people are not alone. They are heard, they are supported.”

Immigrants Finding Themselves within America and America In Them

Mahsa Khanbabai, an Iranian American and an immigration lawyer, shares her thoughts on advocating for a more fair and just America.

She writes, “Immigration attorneys and advocates will continue to demand change not only in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion. It’s vital to empower those without voices, as well as to advocate for change with our neighbors, our broader community and with our elected officials. It’s bigger than a single political movement—it’s about education and dialogue. “