Zig-Zag’s “Queremos leer libros, queremos ser libres”

SANTIAGO – “Queremos leer libros, queremos ser libres” is a literature-inspired feminist campaign spearheaded by one of Chile’s most venerable publishers, Editorial Zig-Zag. It offers a list of inspiring books, from non-fiction compilations to soaring fiction, honoring and representing strong women. The list is part of many campaigns happening throughout the country this week for International Women’s Day.

In commemoration of International Women’s Day in Chile, Editorial Zig-Zag has released a list of books to honor all women “with stories of other brave, daring, dreaming, free, integral, and pioneering women.” This list is part of a campaign named Queremos leer libros, queremos ser libres (We want to read books, we want to be free).

On the list is Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu, which Netflix is turning into a movie, directed by US comedian Amy Poehler and adapted by producer-turned screenwriter Tamara Chestna. No release date has been confirmed. The story is about a feminist revolution in a small, rural high school. Vivian Carter, the 16-year-old protagonist, is fighting sexist dress codes, the male soccer team’s superiority, and her male classmates’ constant harassment which goes unnoticed in the school.

Another book on the list is a composition of biographies of 100 Chilean women who trail-blazed positions in academia, the arts, politics, and sciences. Las Primeras Mujeres Que Abrieron Camino en Chile, by various writers, is a treasured, national review of the stories of these women through the years. The magazine Ya of daily El Mercurio has been publishing these stories since March 2017, and Zig-Zag has combined them into one soul-stirring book.

Similar to Las Primeras, Hélène Merle-Béral tells the stories of the only women, so far, who have won a Nobel Prize in Science in 17 Mujeres Premios Nobel de Ciencia. The book assesses the impact of culture and the social effects of gender on the scientific field.

A refreshing counter to radical feminism is Unmasked Afrodite, A defense of liberal feminism, by María Blanco. She argues that we need to tone down the confrontation between the sexes, and that men and women can work together and equally in peace.

Other books selected for their powerful female characters are Niñas del Viento by Franco Vaccarini and Jerónima by Ana María del Río. These two focus on curious and enlightened women who question society.

Also on the list is the classic Malala, My Story, by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick.

The complete list of books is here.

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