Celebrating Women’s Voices and Book-A-Day Women’s History Month

As part of the celebration marking its 100th anniversary, the Women’s National Book Association will send a book a day throughout March to President Trump that the organization believes sheds light on many of the critical issues faced by the country. The books have been taken from a list of the top 100 books in both fiction and nonfiction compiled by the WNBA to reflect, in its estimation, the most influential books written by women.

Noting the absence of other types of non-fiction works, our Chapter Vice-President (and acting President) Marie Breaux contacted National; their response was that she had a wonderful idea.  A second list of non-fiction works was started with our Chapter leading the charge!

The entire list is available at the WNBA Centennial site https://www.wnba-centennial.org/celebrating-women-s-voices as a webpage or PDF.

Highlights of our January 28th meeting

WNBA-New Orleans members enjoyed a special January meeting at the home of member Nina Calvo, Doris Stone Director, Latin American Library, Tulane University.  Nina presented and led the discussion of the work of 17th century Mexican writer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (New Spain, 1648-1692).  She was the major figure of Spanish American literature of the colonial period (1492-1821) and a towering figure of the Spanish language of any age.

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          Jan 2016 meeting 1      Jan 2016 meeting 2

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Here is a message from Nina before the meeting:

Dear WNBA-NOLA friends,
I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone at my house on Saturday, January 28 to discuss the work of 17th century Mexican writer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (New Spain, 1648-1692).  She is the major figure of Spanish American literature of the colonial period (1492-1821) and a towering figure of the Spanish language of any age.  Did I mention she also happened to be a woman?  
My hope is that everyone walks away with a general sense of who Sor Juana was, what her writing was like, and why she may still be relevant today. I hope you enjoy the readings!     Nina

Highlights of our Nov. 28 Meeting

Celebrating Women’s Voices: 100 Books to Read and Talk About.”  We started our planning for the 100th anniversary of the National Women’s Book Association in 2017!   We worked on compiling our chapter’s list of the 100 best books of fiction, poetry, and memoir written by US women, one title per author.  Additionally, our chapter is specifically spearheading a nonfiction list.  See Blog page for more information.

We also had great fun coming up with an idea for a special Centennial Cocktail!  Stay tuned for an update on that!

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Celebrating Women’s Voices: 100 Books that Explained or Changed Our World

In honor of the upcoming Centennial of the WNBA, National is compiling a preliminary list of “one hundred books by women that the WNBA community considers to be the most influential books penned by women.” This list, subtitled ‘100 Books to Read and Talk About’, will include works of fiction, poetry and memoir. Noting the absence of other types of non-fiction works, our Chapter Vice-President (and acting President) Marie Breaux contacted National; their response was that she had a wonderful idea, that a second list should be started and our Chapter is leading the charge.

Suggestions for either list can be sent via email to wnbaofnola@gmail.com .

Criteria for the first list can be found at the link above.

Criteria for the non-fiction list are:

  1. Works of non-fiction;
  2. Works that have garnered critical acclaim, including awards and honors; that have maintained a readership across generations, or for newer works, are engaging and appealing to a wide swath of the reading public; and/or have provided an impetus for significant change;
  3. Writers that are American (by birth or by virtue of where the author has chosen to live); living or dead; writing in English.

Our non-fiction working list will eventually be sent to the other Chapters for their input. One master list of 100 books will emerge. We envision the list being a very important entity for preserving and promoting women’s voices.

  • Teresa Tumminello Brader, Secretary

Highlights of our Oct. 30 Meeting

We had a great time at our Halloween-themed meeting!  Guest speaker and author Bonnie Noonan presented entertaining and informative information on Women in Science Fiction Films. We all agreed that this should be an October meeting must next year!

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Chapter Vice President Marie Breaux introduced Bonnie Noonan, author of several books about women and science fiction films.

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Bonnie Noonan explains what’s happening in this science fiction film.

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Meeting host Peter Martinat, Nina Calvo and hostess Marie Breaux enjoy some Bloody Mary’s.

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Susan Larson and Constance Adler at the event.

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Dawn Wilson and “Wonder Woman” Melinda Palacio enjoyed the fun.

Welcome to the Website

At one of the first WNBA-New Orleans meetings that I attended, Susan Larson (Reading Life host and chapter founder) spoke about what the WNBA meant to her and how special it was to be around such fabulous, interesting, and accomplished women. Susan said this in her inimitably warm and inviting voice, almost as if she were letting us all in on a little secret. My experience has been the same: getting together with people in this chapter – its women and men – always leaves me energized and takes me out of the dulling grind of the obligations of everyday life and work. Lena Dunham has argued, “Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading.” WNBA is my eighth day of the week.

A lot of WNBA-New Orleans members worked hard to bring this website to life: Sara Woodard who worked on content; Steve Beisner who did the technical work; Karen Kersting, Serena Jones, and Teresa Tumminello Brader who helped keep the website project moving; and Ann Benoit who worked on an earlier version. They all deserve our thanks.

Reading and writing can be rather solitary pursuits. What we hear most often about WNBA-New Orleans is that it provides an opportunity to network with other members of the book community. We can meet virtually here on this website, but, even better, we hope to see you in person soon at one of the upcoming events.

–       Marie Breaux, V.P. standing in for Chapter President Sheila Cork, who is out of the country

 

Welcome to the WNBA of New Orleans

The WNBA-New Orleans is a chapter of the Women’s National Book Association, which was founded in 1917 (before women had the right to vote) when women were excluded from national publishing gatherings.  With local chapters around the country, WNBA is an organization of women and men who work with and value books.  WNBA exists to promote reading and to support the role of women in the community of the book.  The National WNBA web site is at wnba-books.org.