Stories from Suffragette City

Holt. Oct. 2020. 272p. ed. by ed. by M.J. Rose & Fiona Davis. ISBN 9781250241320. $25.99. short stories
On October 23, 1915, more than 25,000 women marched up Fifth Avenue in New York City, demanding the right to vote. These stories from a dozen best-selling authors all take place on that historic day and highlight the large and small battles women fought for their rights. Mingling fact and fiction, the stories feature wholly imagined characters along with historical figures such as Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, Charles and Katrina Tiffany, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s story “American Womanhood” depicts the conflicted feelings of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, as she reflects on a previous suffrage parade in which she courageously defied orders to march at the back with the other Black women. Chris Bohjalian’s “Just Politics,” about an Armenian refugee marching in the parade, is a moving story that still resonates today. The rest of the collection offers tales of poignant glimpses into different perspectives of the women’s movement, from wealthy socialites to women of color to young girls.
VERDICT This nuanced collection serves as an evocative reminder of the hard-fought right for women to vote and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
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