Read Books! Illustrated

Grandmother Power. Paola Gianturco’s fifth book reveals a new international women’s movement: activist grandmothers working together to make the world a better place for their grandchildren to live. They are fighting creatively and courageously against poverty, disease, illiteracy, violence and much more. The book stars 120 grandmothers in 15 countries telling their own stories, plus 225 full color photographs. (Grandmother Power, A Global Phenomenon, Paola Gianturco, powerHouse Books, 2012)

Women Who Light the Dark. Paola Gianturco takes you all over the world to learn how women are helping each other tackle the problems that darken their lives. Learn what they are doing to change the way they live and what you can do too. Don’t miss it! (Women Who Light The Dark, Paola Gianturco, 2007, powerHouse Books)

Celebrating Women. With gorgeous color photographs by Paola Gianturco, this elegant coffee table book highlights 17 festivals in 15 countries that celebrate women’s attributes and accomplishments. Find Out Where to Buy the book. (Celebrating Women, Paola Gianturco, 2004, powerHouse Books)

¡Viva Colores! The cacophony of color that assaults you when you visit Guatemala is no accident. It’s a profound manifestation of the irrepressible vitality and valor of an indomitable people who have endured and gained strength from their difficulties, traditions, land, spiritual beliefs, and kinships. ¡Viva Colores! profiles forty-one everyday heroes who are shaping their nation's future. Photographs by Paola Gianturco, text by David Hill. (¡Viva Colores!, Paola Gianturco and David Hill, 2006, powerHouse Books)  

In Her Hands, Craftswomen Changing the World, Paola Gianturco’s first book, was created with Toby Tuttle. They traveled to 28 villages on 4 continents to document the lives of heroic women artisans living on less than $1 a day. (In Her Hands, Craftswomen Changing the World, Paola Gianturco and Toby Tuttle, 2004, powerHouse Books)

Textile Traditions of Chinchero. Master weaver Nilda Callañaupa’s second book describes the patterns, processes, festivals, rituals and beliefs about traditional weaving in her hometown, Chinchero, Peru. The bilingual book is richly illustrated and full of stories told by community elders, some of whom are featured in Grandmother Power, A Global Phenomenon. (Textile Traditions of Chinchero: A Living Heritage, Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, 2012)  

Tribes of the Great Rift Valley. Photojournalist Elizabeth L. Gilbert’s traveled move than 3,000 Miles between Eritrea and Malawi to document 25 African ethnic groups. Her intimate black and white photographs of endangered cultures feel, Vogue comments, “urgent and essential.” (Tribes of the Great Rift Valley, Elizabeth L. Gilbert, Abrams, 2007)

Women Empowered, Inspiring Change in the Emerging World.  If you like Women Who Light the Dark, you will appreciate CARE’s book that profiles women in 8 developing countries who have turned their struggles into triumphs. Photographer Phil Borges began to shoot these black-and -white and sepia portraits in 2004. They show women in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Togo, Ecuador and India. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (whom I worked with years ago) wrote the Foreword and Isabel Allende contributed a cover blurb. The book includes a wonderful three-paragraph essay about the environment by Wangari Maathai, Kenya’s 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner. (Women Empowered: Inspiring Change in the Emerging World, Isabel Allende (Contributor), Madeleine Albright (Contributor), Phil Borges (Photographer), 2007, Rizzoli)

IMPACT: From the Front Lines of Global Health. Karen Kasmauski traveled through five continents over 15 years covering the global reach of diseases and the compassionate attempts of those who work to improve health. Her photographs are brilliant. Her coverage of women’s issues has appeared regularly in National Geographic. I was honored when she telephoned me one day to ask a question. Science writer Peter Jaret wrote the text for IMPACT, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Jimmy Carter, wrote the Foreword.

The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope, includes images taken in 6 countries by award-winning photographers Susan Meiselas, Lekha Singh, and Sylvia Plachy. This book includes letters and first-person narratives by women who survived war, all of whom live in the regions where Women For Women International, the organization founded by the book’s author, Zainab Salbi, works. Ms. Salbi was first a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show the same day I was; I applaud her for this important documentary book. (The Other Side of War: Women's Stories of Survival and Hope, Zainab Salbi, 2006, National Geographic)

Halo of the Sun. Noel Bennett, a Persian-American woman weaver, lived on a Navajo Indian reservation for eight years. Over time, she gained the trust of the Navajo women who taught her to weave as they did, and shared their legends. (Halo of the Sun, Stories Told and Retold, Noel Bennett, 1987, Northland Press)

National Geographic’s Eighth Atlas of the World is not only an invaluable reference, it’s fascinating reading. It maps the physical and political world as well as human activities as diverse as population migration, terrorism, culture and war. There are maps of the world’s interior and satellite photographs including night shots that show where people have electricity or only fire. (National Geographic Eighth Atlas of the World, National Geographic, 2004)

Penguin Atlas of Women in the World is brimming with information-rich maps created by Myriad Editions, UK to show patterns and problems that depict women’s lives around the globe: their work, health, education and personal freedom. (Penguin Atlas of Women in the World, Joni Seager, 2003 Penguin Books)

Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe. For generations, Ndebele women have made rich ceremonial beadwork and large murals on the exterior walls of their mud dwellings, but Margaret Courtney-Clarke was the first to photograph this remarkable artistry. (Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe, Margaret Courtney-Clarke, 1991, Rizzoli)

Headwraps, A Global Journey. Georgia Scott left her job as an art director for the New York Times, stored everything she owned, and spent a year photographing headwraps in 32 countries. (Headwraps, A Global Journey, Georgia Scott, 2003, Public Affairs Press)

Wise Women. Joyce Tenneson traveled throughout America to photograph and interview women whose ages ranged from 65 to 100.  Rather than the frail stereotype of aging that North American society has fostered in the past, she found accomplished women who were vital, energetic, beautiful inside and out. (Wise Women : A Celebration of Their Insights, Courage, and Beauty, Joyce Tenneson, Bulfinch, 2002)

Tribe of Women. Connie Bickman, a photojournalist who lives in Minnesota, began her spiritual and physical travels in 1989. Over ten years, she visited women in 18 countries. “Though we may travel far and in many directions…every being is a mirror to our own divine self,” she writes. (Tribe of Women: A Photojournalist Chronicles the Lives of Her Sisters Around the Globe, Connie Bickman, New World Library, 2001)

Women, A Celebration of Strength. Women interested in the history of women’s rights in the United States will fall in love with this fact-filled, adult pop-up book—yes, pop-up book!— that includes mini-copies of  the documents that shape women’s rights and lives. It’s full of timelines, news stories, bios and photographs. I am still wowed. (Women, A Celebration of Strength, Louise A. Gikow; Kathy Rodgers and Lynn Hecht Schafran with Edwidge Danticat and Anna Quindlen, 2007, Legal Momentum)

Persepolis, The Story of a Childhood is Marjane Satrapi's wise, funny, heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, a story she tells in black-and-white comic strips. As the great granddaughter of one Iran's last emperors, her story is a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression — and a introduction to a loveable little girl. (Persepolis, The Story of A Childhood, Marjane Satrapi, 2003, Pantheon)

Imagining Ourselves, Global Voices from A New Generation of Women. Paula Goldman emailed women in their 20’s and 30’s to respond to the question:  “What defines your generation of women?” Responses from more than 100 women from 57 countries are included in this book: prose, poems, photographs, paintings. I was excited when the International Museum of Women followed their first curated exhibit (based on my book Celebrating Women) with Paula’s remarkable on-line exhibit. See it here. (Imagining Ourselves: Global Voices from a New Generation of Women, Isabel Allende (Foreword), Paula Goldman (Editor), 2006, New World Library)

Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood Co-authors Joanne Eicher (anthropologist) and Lisa Ling (host of the National Geographic channel’s Explorer) provide a fascinating look at the historical, cultural, emotional, and personal impact of women's rituals and ritual practices. Gorgeous photographs from the National Geographic archives portray these women and their customs across time and around the world. (Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood, Joanne B. Eicher & Lisa Ling, 2005, National Geographic)

Transforming Lives $40 at a Time. My friend Dana Whitaker’s first book is packed with information about micro-credit  plus her color photographs and profiles of women micro-entrepreneurs in 13 countries on five continents who are using their loans to provide their families and communities with a better life. (Transforming Lives $40 at a Time, Dana Elizabeth Whitaker, 2007)

LOVE. The introduction was written by Kim Phuk, whom you will remember seeing in the 1972 news photograph: a little Vietnamese girl running naked down the road, her skin on fire with napalm. The photographer who took that picture rushed her to the hospital. Today, she lives in Canada and is a good will ambassador for UNESCO. Love is brimming with images taken all over the world, selected from the project titled MILK (Moments of Intimacy, Laughter and Kinship) that has produced photography exhibits, cards, and books in six languages. (Love, William Morrow, 2001, Milk Project)

Dogon People of the Cliffs. Despite the pressures of the expansion of Islam and tourism, the cliff-dwelling Dogon people of Mali maintain their ancient animist culture. Agnes Pataux’s arresting black and white images document the Dogon people and the stark environment in which they live. (Dogon People of the Cliffs, Agnes Pataux, Five Continent Editions, 2003)

Women of the World, A Global Collection of Art. Claudia Demonte collected 174 pieces of art from as many countries, each an 8” x 8” answer to the question, “Who is woman, what is she?” (Women of the World, A Global Collection of Art, Claudia Demonte, 2000, Pomegranate)

African Ceremonies. Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith have photographed Africa for over three decades. This book took ten years. It covers sacred ceremonies all over the continent, a visual journeys through the meaning and power of traditional rituals. The book includes 43 ceremonies in 26 countries, now beautifully documented before they disappear; it’s a two volume tour de force. (African Ceremonies, Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, 1999, Harry N. Abrams)

Images of the Spirit.  In pictures taken of cultures in her native Mexico, Graciela Iturbide perceives the surreal and the marvelous: a mix of history, lyricism and portraiture, identity, diversity and selfhood. (Images of the Spirit, Graciela Iturbide, 1996, Aperture)

Women in the Material World. Faith D'Alusio and a team of female photojournalists visited 20 countries to create photo essays about women’s hopes, dreams sorrows, and joys. (Women in the Material World, Faith D'Alusio and Peter Menzel, Sierra Club Books, 1996)

Women Photographers at National Geographic The magazine has employed many women as freelance photographers since 1953 when the first woman joined the photographic staff. This book features images by women who shoot for National Geographic all over the world. (Women Photographers at National Geographic, Cathy Newman, 2000, National Geographic Society)

Eye To Eye-Women. Features the words and worlds of women from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as seen in photographs and fiction by each region’s top women writers. (Eye to Eye-Women, Vanessa Baird, Editor, 1997, Serpent's Tail)

Africa Adorned, a Panorama of Jewelry, Dress, Body Decoration and Hairstyle, Angela Fisher, 1984, Harry N. Abrams

African Canvas, The Art of West African Women, Margaret Courtney-Clarke, Foreword by Maya Angelou, 1990 Rizzoli