Celebrating Women’s History Month with Philadelphia Authors

By Erin S. RSS Wed, March 6, 2024

Since its official designation in March of 1987, Women’s History Month has become a time to celebrate the valuable contributions and achievements of women throughout American history, across a wide array of fields, including the arts. In honor of Women’s History Month, we are shining a spotlight on some amazing authors who hail from our region. We encourage you to visit the Free Library of Philadelphia this month to check out books by new and favorite female writers — including the authors on this list!

 

Sara Nović

 

Sara Nović

Philadelphia resident Sara Nović is the acclaimed author of Girl at War and this year’s One Book, One Philadelphia selection, True Biz. This 2022 novel focuses on “themes of belonging, autonomy, and the importance of self-expression” and “shows the rich history and culture of Deaf communities.” It is also a New York Times Bestseller and American Library Association Alex Award winner. In a recent feature by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Nović, who is Deaf, an advocate, and instructor of Deaf studies and creative writing, shared:

"People joke in the Deaf community that when Philly signers are in the house, you know we are here… our ASL accent is Philly-fly, and we are known worldwide for our aggressive and expressive signs."

Learn more about One Book, One Philadelphia.

 

Lorene Cary

 

Lorene Cary

According to Visit Philly, Lorene Cary is not only a "Philadelphia native who still lives and teaches in the city," but also an author, lecturer, and playwright. Her 1995 debut novel The Price of a Child was the Free Library of Philadelphia’s very first One Book, One Philadelphia selection in 2003. Other notable works include her bestselling memoirs, Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century and Black Ice, as well as My General Tubman, a play that reimagines Harriet Tubman as a time-traveler, which premiered in 2020 at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia. Cary is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of Art Sanctuary — an organization that uses the excellence of Black arts to enrich our region.

 

Carmen Maria Machado

 

Carmen Maria Machado

Philly Magazine called Carmen Maria Machado "one of the country’s most celebrated contemporary fiction writers." She is also a founding member of The Claw, a professional writing support group for women in Philadelphia, and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2017, Machado published Her Body and Other Parties, a debut collection of short stories that garnered numerous awards and earned a spot on "The New Vanguard," a list of 15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century, via The New York Times. Machado penned a second award-winning novel in 2020, a memoir about the complexities of domestic abuse in queer relationships titled In the Dream House.

 

Catzie Vilayphonh

 

Catzie Vilayphonh

South Philly resident Catzie Vilayphonh is an award-winning writer, founding member of the spoken word poetry duo Yellow Rage, and one of the first Asian-American women to appear on HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Her written work was recently featured in My Life: Growing Up Asian in America, published in 2022. Vilayphonh also serves on the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, is a co-founding chair of the Lao American Writer Summit in Philadelphia, and creator of Laos in the House — a local organization that promotes storytelling in the Lao-American refugee community through art.


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