While it would be great if we were past the whole “banning books” thing, the fact remains that hundreds of books have their places in libraries or on school reading lists challenged each year.
According to the American Library Association, books are most commonly challenged for being “sexually explicit” or containing “offensive language.” But some of the books that are most often challenged are also literary classics, containing storylines that almost everyone can learn from.
In honor of Banned Books Week 2014, we’ve pulled together a list of controversial books that every woman should read. They cover sexual freedom and women pushing back against prescribed roles, oppression against women and people of color, and what it means to be a woman in different places and times. Above all, they are stories well told.