“Every word a woman writes changes the story of the world, revises the official version.” - Carolyn See

International Women's Day is celebrated every year on 8 March across the globe. The day is an important point in the movement for women’s rights, to celebrate and recognises their achievements.  Furthermore, it brings attention to challenges  which still affect women, including access to education, inequality and gender-based discrimination.

What better way to mark the day by honouring some of our favourite female writers, for their immense contribution and powerful stories? 

Here are books written by local female authors you should be reading:

Book cover for An Elephant in My Kitchen

An Elephant in My Kitchen

'The most magical book about the African bush since Born Free' - Daily MailFrançoise Malby-Anthony never expected to find herself responsible for a herd of elephants with a troubled past. A chic Parisienne, her life changed forever when she fell in love w...

Book cover for Rule Of Law

Rule Of Law

Over a legal career spanning 26 years, advocate Glynnis Breytenbach earned a reputation as one of the country’s most formidable state prosecutors, her infamous stare piercing the defences of many.

Book cover for 491 Days

491 Days

On a freezing winter’s night, a few hours before dawn on 12 May 1969, security police stormed the Soweto home of Winnie Mandela and detained her in the presence of her two young daughters, then aged eight and ten.

Book cover for The Knock On The Door

The Knock On The Door

The Detainees’ Parents Support Committee (DPSC) was started in 1981 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was set up by the parents, spouses and families of activists who were detained and had no recourse to legal intervention. Many in this movement had not been politically involved.

Book cover for Knucklebone


Sangomas and cops don’t mix. But this is Joburg, a city that never sleeps, a metropolis that is equal parts flash and shadow, and where not everything can be easily explained. Ian Jack, a disillusioned former police officer, teams up with Reshma Patel, a colleague from his old life, to investigate a...

Book cover for Winging It

Winging It

Jonathan Kaplan, celebrated international rugby referee and former world record-holder for most Test caps, had his fair share of challenging moments on the field. He was known for his commitment to fair play, ability to defuse tense situations, and courage in making difficult, and sometimes controve...

Book cover for Ministry Of Crime

Ministry Of Crime

As a follow up to the bestselling Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed (2010), the new book from Mandy Wiener, Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored, examines how organised crime, gangsters and powerful political figures have been able to capture the law enforcement authorities and agencies.

Book cover for The Yearning

The Yearning

The Yearning is a memorable exploration of the ripple effects of the past, of personal strength and courage, and of the shadowy intersections of traditional and modern worlds.

Book cover for Call Me Woman

Call Me Woman

The resonance of Call Me Woman is as great in 2018 as when first published in 1985. Like millions of black South Africans made strangers in the land of their birth. Ellen Kuzwayo lost a great deal in her lifetime: the farm in the Orange Free State which had belonged to her family for nearly a hundre...

Book cover for The Golddiggers

The Golddiggers

It’s 2008 and the height of Zimbabwe’s economic demise. A group of passengers is huddled in a Toyota Quantum about to embark on a treacherous expedition to the City of Gold. Amongst them is Gugulethu, who is hoping to be reconciled with her mother.

Book cover for Turning And Turning

Turning And Turning

South Africans often are deeply polarised in our perspectives of the present and the past. Our ‘ways of seeing’ are fraught with division, and we fail to understand the complexities when we do not see what lies beneath the surface.

Book cover for Beauty's Gift

Beauty's Gift

The Five Firm Friends - Edith, Cordelia, Amanda, Doris and Beauty - are five sassy career women who confront life head-on. But when Beauty suddenly becomes ill and, after six short weeks, passes away, their world is thrown into confusion.

Book cover for The Blessed Girl

The Blessed Girl

When you are accustomed to the finer things in life – designer shoes, champagne, VIP lounges, exotic holidays abroad, a luxury penthouse, expensive wheels – what independent young woman in her right mind would want to let them go?.

Book cover for Self-Helpless


Everywhere Rebecca Davis looked, the world was in poor shape. And because she'd quit drinking, she no longer had the comfort blanket of alcohol to tamp down her anxiety. How did sober people stay sane?

Book cover for Becoming Iman

Becoming Iman

Iman Rappetti is an award-winning journalist who has been involved in print, radio and television. She worked as a young journalist in South Africa and then abandoned it (along with all her worldly possessions) when she became Muslim.

Book cover for Plus One

Plus One

As deputy editor of the glamorous FILLE magazine in London, Lisa Lassiter had almost passed up the chance of a weekend on a billionaire’s yacht off the coast of Mykonos.

Book cover for Live Lead Learn

Live Lead Learn

Gail Kelly’s presence reaches far beyond her own profession. The first female CEO of one of Australia’s big four banks, listed by Forbes in 2010 as the eighth most powerful woman in the world, and mother of four (including triplets), Gail is celebrated as one of the finest, most innovative thinkers ...

Book cover for The Accident

The Accident

Twenty-six years is a long time not to be alive. Since The Accident that ruined her life, Catherine has lived on autopilot, going through the motions of work and motherhood without being fully present.