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Women’s History Month: Retelling HER Story

Three paper dolls

The Stories we Gain by Reshaping Myths with Women as the Main Characters

Modern authors are myth-busting familiar tales by passing the pen to the side characters – women. Centuries of mythology across the world has historically centered around and celebrated male narratives: their origins, battles, journeys, wins and losses. Female characters, whether damsels or monsters, by contrast are often one dimensional. They are left with infamy, often shown as manipulative and deceitful, even when their downfall is due to the attention and actions of men. We’re looking at you, Helen of Troy.  

Written about the extremes of the human experience, where heroes rise above, evil is conquered and the gods never fail to meddle and manipulate it all, classic myths retold with a modern twist have been trending steadily for several years with female authors at the helm. This intersection of mythology and feminism is helping to retell humanity’s most foundational stories. 

Shifting the narrative voices and perspectives from male to female in centuries-old tales challenges what it means to be a hero or even a villain. Representation matters and can create a desire to learn the stories of those who exist in the margins. Not just women, but people of color, queer characters, and the historically misunderstood. 

As we honor Women’s History Month and reflect on women’s contributions to the world by sharing their stories, here are a few mythology adaptations that shift the narrative by placing women as main characters: 

Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel book cover


by Vaishnavi Patel 

An epic tale that reimagines a historically despised queen from Indian mythology

Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology by Jess Zimmerman book cover

Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology by Jess Zimmerman 

A fresh cultural analysis of female monsters from Greek mythology, and an invitation for all women to reclaim these stories as inspiration for a more wild, more “monstrous” version of feminism.

Medusa's Sisters By Lauren J.A. Bear book cover

Medusa’s Sisters by Lauren J.A. Bear. 

A vivid and moving reimagining of the myth of Medusa and the sisters who loved her.

Redemption in Indigo By Karen Lord book cover

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord 

Paama’s husband is a fool and a glutton. When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones – the djombi – who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world.

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