• Women Lit Gallery

Private Salon with Khalida Brohi in San Francisco, December 14

Women Lit members at the Fearlessness level and higher sat down to a Pakistani feast with international activist and author Khalida Brohi the night after her successful talk at the Women’s Building in San Francisco. This intimate evening included drinks, free-flowing conversation with the warm-hearted author, and a moderated discussion about Brohi’s book, her childhood in tribal Pakistan, and her global quest to speak up for women.

Rebecca Traister at the Berkeley City Club, October 2018

We packed Berkeley City Club in this beyond-sold-out talk by feminist spark plug Rebecca Traister. She spoke with Lauren Schiller, host of the podcast Inflection Point, about how to use women’s anger to make change happen. Audience members got the chance to ask Traister questions following the talk, and she signed books at the end of the evening.

Private Salon with Jasmin Darznik in Sausalito, August 17

Women Lit members at the Fearlessness level and higher got the chance to hear from Jasmine Darznik, author of the gorgeous novel “Song of a Captive Bird.” Darznik’s novel was called “an ode to female creativity under a patriarchy that repeatedly tries to snuff it out” by the New York Times Book Review. Salon participants heard groundbreaking poetry, delighted in Persian delicacies and themed cocktails, and engaged with one another about how to be daring women.

Private Salon at 4th annual Bay Area Book Festival

Saturday’s Festival activities rounded out with a packed private salon at the top of the Hotel Shattuck, where Women Lit members had an animated Q&A with two fantastic women. Norwegian medical student Ellen Stokken Dahl, who co-wrote the book on the female anatomy, “The Wonder Down Under,” answered guests’ questions about aging, sexual health, and pleasure. Novelist and sexual assault survivor Winnie Li, author of “Dark Chapter,” chatted with the audience about trauma, healing, and finding strength in womanhood.

Women Lit Presents Leila Slimani, April 2018

On April 8th, the Festival welcomed Leila Slimani, winner of the Prix Goncourt in France, to discuss her novel The Perfect Nanny (translated by Sam Taylor) at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Women Lit Launch Event at The Pines, Sausalito, January 2018

More than 100 women gathered at The Pines, a restored Victorian mansion in Sausalito, for the kick-off event for Women Lit. Festival founder and director Cherilyn Parsons unveiled the name “Women Lit” and the society itself, and authors Sylvia Brownrigg, Joyce Maynard and Sarah Manyika gave short readings and a conversation followed by questions from the audience.

Women Lit at the Women’s March in San Francisco, January 2018

Our favorite sign among the several we brought: “Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.” — Audre Lorde

“It’s very important for us women writers to testify what it is to be a woman in this world…. For many years and centuries, woman couldn’t write, and they couldn’t get published.… Each time I go to my desk and I begin to write, I think about all the women from all those centuries, all those women who wanted to tell their stories…. I want to write for them, and I want to give them this testimony…. It’s very difficult in many societies for a woman to just tell the truth or her truth and to break the silence and to use words as tools….  I feel a kind of duty to tell them, ‘yes it’s hard but it’s also extraordinary.’ I would give this freedom, this extraordinary freedom, for nothing in the world.”

Women Lit presents world-renowned French author Leila Slimani, interviewed by Brooke Warner, publisher of She Writes Press, at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, April 8, 2018 (52:48)

“Even if you’re a celebrity, you always come home with a son telling you, ‘Mommy, I need this, Mommy, I need that,” and he doesn’t care if you write books and you’re very famous or everyone loves you because ‘I just need this this this…’” [Laughter]
Shorter interview with Leila Slimani by Festival Director Cherilyn Parsons at the private Women Lit salon in advance of the main interview. (16:23)

“Every word a woman writes changes the story of the world, revises the official version.”  Carolyn See

Women Lit has just been born! It’s an already-active community dedicated to raising women’s voices in every way possible. Here you can find out about our exclusive salons, public events, and growing membership. Coming soon is our women-centric newsletter, created by and for women readers.

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The Fine Print: Here’s what we’re reading 

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Speaker Spotlight: Viv Albertine

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Author Spotlight: Geneen Roth

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Speaker spotlight: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

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Opinion: Should Authors Write Outside Their Cultural Identity?

This piece, written by Bay Area Book Festival Founder and…
February 20, 2018/by Michelle Pitcher