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Friday, March 31, 2017

10 Books by Mississippi Women You Need to Read

Mississippi is the land of storytellers. It's the birthplace of literary greats Richard Wright, Willie Morris, and William Faulkner, to name just a few. Women, though have been steadily adding to the state's writing wealth as well. In honor of Women's History Month, we've picked our favorite books by some of the best authoresses Mississippi has to offer.

The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love
Jill Conner Browne
Tupelo and Jackson, Mississippi

Laugh until you cry with this ode to being true to yourself and being the woman you want to be. This hilarious memoir covers everything from what to do when you find a possum under your bed in the middle of the night to tips on writing your own obituary.

Victory Over Japan
Ellen Gilchrist
Vicksburg, Jackson, and Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Ellen Gilchrist is a short story master and this collection is chock full of women in all their earthy, gritty, unabashed glory.

From the Mississippi Delta: A Memoir
Endesha Ida Mae Holland
Greenwood, Mississippi

Holland's memoir is a life-changing read. As a child, she suffered unimaginable horrors; as a young woman, a chance encounter with the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi gave her life a new direction and meaning.

Coming of Age in Mississippi
Anne Moody
Centerville, Jackson, Canton, and Gloster, Mississippi

Completely forthright and never sentimental, Anne Moody's autobiography is an eye opening experience. Moody, who was the same age as Emmett Till, was deeply affected by his kidnapping and murder. A fiery determination to fight for justice and equality was born and makes for a fascinating and inspirational read.

I'm Just a Person
Tig Notaro
Jackson and Pass Christian, Mississippi

Comedian Notaro had a very bad year. With humorous insight, this memoir describes how she managed to stare down the dark side of life and come out with soul intact on the other side. 

Everybody's Got Something 
Robin Roberts
Pass Christian, Hattiesburg, and Biloxi, Mississippi

In this powerful memoir, Roberts paints an inspirational portrait of her life. She has lived her motto to a T: that though everybody has problems, everybody also has something to give.

Bellocq's Ophelia
Natasha Trethewey
Gulfport, Mississippi

Inspired by photographer E.J. Bellocq's photo series of prostitutes in New Orleans' red light district, this poetry collection tells Ophelia's story. Moving from an objectified woman to a self-aware person with dignity, this lyrical book of poems is a gorgeous read.

Margaret Walker
Jackson, Mississippi

Jubilee follows its protagonist Vyry, born a slave, through the Civil War and its aftermath. Vyry's story, driven by hope, integrity, and justice, is a fictional account of the author's own family.

Salvage the Bones
Jesmyn Ward
DeLisle and Oxford, Mississippi

Set during the days before and after Hurricane Katrina, Esch, a young pregnant teen, struggles to keep her family safe and secure. With themes of love, family, and community, you'll be reaching for a box of tissues well before the moving conclusion.

One Writer's Beginnings
Eudora Welty
Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson and Columbus, Mississippi

One Writer's Beginnings is a quiet reflection of growing up in Mississippi, of a love of books, and the discovery that one can be small and still make your voice be heard.

Until next time, happy reading!

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