Seren’s women on the books that have inspired us

To mark International Women’s Day 2017, Seren’s female staff have come together to shine the spotlight on the books that have inspired us. Countless works of literature written by female writers have changed the world; the few mentioned here have personally changed us.

Sunshine, Melissa Lee-Houghton (Penned in the Margins, 2016)
Sunshine Melissa Lee HoughtonSuggested by Rebecca Parfitt, Editorial Assistant for Poetry Wales

“It both shocked and enthralled me in equal measure. Here is a poet laying her soul and body bare for all to see and its as uncomfortable as it is beautiful. Her poems have an energy that crackles on the page and her verse often long and sprawling as to almost seem unkempt. A truly authentic and honest contemporary female voice.”


A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, Eimear McBride (Galley Beggar Press, 2013)
A Girl is a Half-formed ThingSuggested by Rosie Johns, Marketing & Communications Officer

“Girlhood, growth and sexuality – this book is uncompromising in its depiction of the protagonist’s agonising journey through all of these. After puberty, she is seen by the men in her life (including her uncle) as a simply sexual thing. In reality she is fragmented, transgressive, troubled. There is nothing toned-down or dishonest about this book which, sadly, might explain the author’s staggering 9-year search for a publisher.”


Shakespeare’s Wife by Germaine Greer
Shakespeare's WifeSuggested by Amy Wack, Poetry Editor

“I’m a fan of this book by Greer, a scholarly and provocative imaginary life of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife. Greer constructs a plausible and sometimes unexpected Elizabethan England based mostly on her research sifting the actual records from Stratford at the time. I know Greer can be wrong-headed and stubbornly persistent, but I always appreciate that her goal is to get people to think, to argue back, to defy received opinions!”



International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900s, and commemorates the moment for women’s rights. The day is also an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements. This year the campaign centres around calling people to #BeBoldForChange – to help forge a better working world, and a more gender-inclusive world. Join in and be bold.

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