CALL FOR ENTRIES: 50 Books for Problematic Times

Cross-posted at Deeply Problematic

Last month, I covered Newsweek’s myopic list of the 50 books that define and explain these confusing modern times . To recap: the list was 84% white, 78% male, 96% straight, and 66% both white and male, and that is not relevant to these modern times.

In response to this list, I presented 50 Books for Post-Modern Times , and began soliciting submissions from the Feministing Community and the readers of Deeply Problematic. I’ve already gotten a lot of great responses from folks – thank you so much!

I have re-named the project, and it is now called:

50 Books for Problematic Times

What is 50BPT? It’s a list of 50 writers who shed light on society as it is today (its virtues and its flaws) without the benefit of bodies that fit into the canon. When lists of great writers usually reinforce that the important words and ideas are created by those with the most privilege, this list seeks to prioritize the voices of writers who speak most knowledgeably of the issues our society faces.

What writers can I nominate? Women writers, writers of color, LBGQ writers, and trans writers are the writers I have in mind here. I’m particularly interested in writers featuring intersectional challenges. I understand that oppression does not fit into neat little categories and is definitely not limited to the isms implied above. If you have a writer who faces or faced a significant oppression unmentioned here who challenges societal ideas of what a successful and noteworthy writer is, please send it in and we’ll discuss.

What if I have a writer who’s really relevant to feminist conversation, but doesn’t fit into the guidelines above? I may do an extra-50PBT entry outside of the confines of this project. Write me about him anyway.

What books are eligible? Any kind of work – novel, poetry, history, short stories, anthology. Nominations for a body of work are fine, but please mention a specific work.

When will 50BPT begin and end? I will post the first writer on August 3rd, and will post one a day until September 22.

Who should contribute? Everyone!

To contribute:

    Leave a comment here with your submission, including contact information and why you love them, or
    Email me at with your submission.

In your communication, tell me:

    How they inspire you
    What they contribute to our cultural narrative
    Why they are relevant today.

Please keep descriptions of each work/writer to 250 words if you can.

Everyone who contributes to this list will be quoted and linked, and I will inform you of your entry before it runs.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. If you haven’t…I look forward to hearing from you!

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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