4 Women Writing Fascinating Non-Fiction Books
Through their diverse experiences, educational backgrounds, and personal interests, female authors bring unique perspectives to the written word. From issues as varied as health activism to exploring life in the Victorian era, these writers are creating insightful and compelling books. Here, in no particular order, are some women writers penning dynamic non-fiction narratives.
Coming in at #1 is Dr. Jaipreet Virdi, a historian whose research focuses on the ways medicine and technology impact the lived experiences of disabled people. She is the author of Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History, which examines the issue of deafness in American society and the quest for a cure. The narrative also explores her own experience with hearing loss at the age of four, following a severe case of meningitis.
Dr. Virdi has published articles on diagnostic technologies, hearing aids, and the medicalization of deafness, with some of her essays appearing in The Atlantic and the New Internationalist. She is an assistant professor in the history department at the University of Delaware, where she teaches courses on health activism and visual culture studies. Her Deaf History Series on Twitter spotlights unfamiliar stories of deaf and hard-of-hearing people, technologies, and events.
At #2 is Katrina Shawver, author of Henry: A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America. The book explores her relationship with Holocaust survivor Henry Zguda, and details his time at Auschwitz and Buchenwald during World War II. D. Donovan of the Midwest Book Review calls it a "top must have acquisition," and it was named the winner of the 2018 Arizona Authors Association Literary Contest in the category of Best Published Nonfiction.
Prior to penning the book, Shawver spent eleven years as a columnist for the Arizona Republic. She holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Arizona in English and political science, and her employment history includes stints in software support, the paralegal profession, and tax preparation. As of 2020, the author resides in Phoenix with her husband.
In the #3 spot is Helen Boyd, a lecturer in gender studies at Lawrence University. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in English and a master's in writing from City College of New York. In her book, My Husband Betty: Love, Sex, and Life With A Crossdresser, she chronicles contemporary cross-dressing culture, relational gender, and her own marriage to a trans woman.
Boyd regularly gives interviews, guest lectures at universities, and devotes time to corporate and government training on trans identity and related issues. In 2011, she appeared on Dan Savage's podcast Savage Lovecast, and that same year, received the Fair Wisconsin Community Activist Award. In 2016, Boyd attended a roundtable hosted by the Office on Violence Against Women in Washington, DC.
Wrapping up the list at #4 is Mimi Matthews, author of The Pug Who Bit Napoleon. The book is an examination of animal stories from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including lawsuits and scandals. Matthews writes on all aspects of the Victorian era, from art and etiquette to fashion, beauty, feminism, and law.
The author's research and writing have been referenced in such diverse web and print publications as Smithsonian Magazine, The Paris Review, The Journal of Civil War Medicine, and BUST. Her work is frequently used in high school and college classrooms as part of an English or history curriculum. Matthews is also the USA Today-bestselling, award-winning author of the historical romances The Lost Letter, A Holiday By Gaslight, and Gentleman Jim.