The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpont & Manjit Thapp

The Little Book of Feminist Saints

The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpont & Manjit Thapp is an inspiring, beautifully illustrated collection that honors one hundred exceptional women throughout history and around the world.

In this luminous volume, New York Times bestselling writer Julia Pierpont and British artist Manjit Thapp match short, vibrant and surprising biographies with stunning full-color portraits of secular female ‘saints’: champions of strength and progress.

These women broke ground, broke ceilings, and broke molds. Reaching all around the world, from 630 B.C. to the present day, each woman is assigned their own special day so that readers can open any page to find daily inspiration and lasting delight. The feminist ‘saints’ include, among others: 

Maya Angelou
Jane Austen
Ruby Bridges
Rachel Carson
Shirley Chisholm
Hillary Clinton
Marie Curie & Irene Joliot Curie
Isadora Duncan
Amelia Earhart
Artemisia Gentileschi
Grace Hopper
Dolores Huerta
Frida Kahlo
Billie Jean King
Audre Lorde
Wilma Mankiller
Toni Morrison
Michelle Obama
Sandra Day O’Connor
Sally Ride
Eleanor Roosevelt
Margaret Sanger
Nina Simone
Gloria Steinem
Kanno Sugako
Harriet Tubman
Mae West
Virginia Woolf
Malala Yousafzai

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Here’s an excerpt from The Little Book of Feminist Saints:

Maya Angelou

B. 1928, U.S.
Feast Day: April 4

Maya Angelou portrait by Manjit Thapp

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“In times of strife and extreme stress, I was likely to retreat to mutism. Mutism is so addictive. And I don’t think its powers ever go away.”

A surprising admission for a woman who, by age forty, had lived in Egypt, in Ghana, and all around the United States; who’d worked as a professional dancer, a prostitute, an activist, a singer, a lecturer; and who would become a prolific writer.

Severe childhood trauma triggered Maya Angelou’s mutism at the age of eight: she’d been raped, and after her testimony in court, her rapist had been violently murdered. Her muteness lasted for nearly five years before lifting—but its dark appeal never left her.

“It’s always there saying, ‘You can always come back to me. You have nothing to do—just stop talking.” Angelou resisted the urge.

At forty-one, she published her first and best-known book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which tells the story of that early trauma. In plays, in poems, in autobiographies and spoken-word albums and children’s books, she would tell stories for the rest of her life.

“The writer has to take the most used, most familiar objects—nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs—ball them together and make them bounce, turn them a certain way and make people get into a romantic mood; and another way, into a bellicose mood,” she said at age seventy-five. “I’m most happy to be a writer.”

The Little Book of Feminist Saints is available on Amazon U.S. and Amazon U.K., and wherever books are sold.

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About the author and illustrator

Julia Pierpont (Author) is the author of the New York Times bestseller Among the Ten Thousand Things, winner of the Prix Fitzgerald in France. She is a graduate of Barnard College and the MFA program at New York University. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, New Yorker, New York Times Book Review and Guernica. She lives and teaches in New York.

Manjit Thapp (Illustrator) is an illustrator from the United Kingdom. She graduated with a BA in illustration from Camberwell College of Arts in 2016. Her illustrations combine both traditional and digital media, and her work has been featured by Instagram, Dazed, Vogue India and Wonderland Magazine. Find out more at Manjit Thapp or on Instagram @manjitthapp.

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