A lot of people, when put on the spot, would be hard pressed to come up with a book about war written by a woman. After all, when we think of great war novels, we think of Hemingway, Vonnegut, Heller, O’Brien, Wouk, and their ilk. It makes sense: for a long time war (at least the war that took place on the battlefield) was solely the purview of men, so it stands to reason they would be largely the ones to write about it. But they are not, by any means, the only ones. Today, The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, Shani Boianjiu’s excellent debut novel about teenage girls serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, hits stands, and we liked it so much that we’ve put together a list of a few more great war books (we’ve limited ourselves to fiction — except for one cheat book) penned by women. Read through our list after the jump. let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorites in the comments.
The People of Forever are Not Afraid, Shani Boianjiu
Though we picked up this book, the tale of three teenagers’ experiences in the Israeli Defense Forces, on the promise that it was a little like Mean Girls meets The Things They Carried, we loved it for being a little bit more like Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? meets, well, The Things They Carried. Irreverent, sometimes touching and often deeply weird, we fell in love with Boinajiu’s voice from the first page. Bottom line? It sucked us in and carried us off at gunpoint.