For a long time, feminist was considered something of a dirty word. My mother told me not to call my upcoming novel, Grace and Fury, about two sisters fighting for agency—and each other—in a patriarchal world “feminist,” for fear it would turn off potential readers. But with the #MeToo movement, the increased interest in and timeliness of The Handmaid’s Tale (both the novel by Margaret Atwood, and the Hulu show inspired by it), and the general state of the world, it feels like the word feminist is becoming more and more a call to action—and a promise.
Personally, I love feminist books, especially those that reexamine and subvert traditional stories, giving their female characters the full range of experience and emotion that male characters have always been allowed. Here are some of my favorite (and a couple I’m dying to read!) science-fiction and fantasy retellings, written by five talented female authors who re-imagine classic novels, fairy tales, and history itself through their powerful feminist gazes.