Finding Nevo

Nevo Zisin

Meet Nevo: girl, boy, he, she, him, her, they, them, daughter, son, teacher, student, friend, gay, bi, lesbian, trans, homo, Jew, dyke, masculine, feminine, androgynous, queer. Nevo was not born in the wrong body and just wants everyone to catch up with all that Nevo is.

‘Fuckability: Exploring My Disability and Queer Sexuality’ (in Doing It, edited by Karen Pickering)

Jax Jacki Brown

In this essay, from a collection of essays by Australian women on sexual empowerment, Jax Jacki Brown explores love and desire within – and beyond – the confines of the current social understanding of disability.

So Sad Today

Melissa Broder

CW: anxiety, depression

Melissa Broder is so sad today. How and why did she get so sad? Should she stay sad?

Broder asks herself these questions over and over, turning them into a mesmerising and strangely uplifting reading experience through honesty and a total lack of self-deceit.

El Deafo

Cece Bell

El Deafo chronicles Cece Bell’s hearing loss and subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a powerful and awkward hearing aid. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become ‘El Deafo, Listener for All’.

I Am Malala

Malala Yousafzai

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. While riding the bus home from school, she was shot in the head at point-blank range and few expected her to survive. Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley to the halls of the United Nations.

Honor Girl

Maggie Thrash

A split-second of innocent physical contact at Camp Bellflower pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counsellor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl.


Lindy West

Shrill is an uproarious memoir, a feminist rallying cry in a world that thinks gender politics are tedious and that women, especially feminists, can’t be funny. Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible, writer and humourist Lindy West quickly discovered she was anything but.

Beyond Magenta

Susan Kuklin

Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults. She uses photographs and words to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during and after their personal acknowledgement of their gender preference, following their journeys to recognise their true selves.

I Call Myself a Feminist: The View from Twenty-Five Women Under Thirty

ed. Victoria Pepe et al

Is feminism still a dirty word? Is feminism still thought of as anti-men rather than pro-human? Twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women explore what being a feminist means to them.

Yassmin’s Story

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

At 21, Yassmin found herself working on a remote Australian oil and gas rig; she was not only the only woman but a Muslim with a Sudanese-Egyptian-Australian background. This is the story of how she got there, where she’s going, and how she wants the world to change.

No Way! Okay, Fine.

Brodie Lancaster

From a small town in regional Australia to New York City and back again, Brodie has spent her life searching for bodies like hers, girls who loved each other, and women who didn’t follow the unspoken instructions to shrink or hide that they’ve received since birth.

How to be Happy

David Burton

CW: suicide, self-harm

A funny, sad and serious memoir, How to Be Happy is David Burton’s story of his turbulent life at high school and beyond. Feeling out of placed and convinced that he is not normal, David has a rocky start. He finds some solace in drama classes with the creation of ‘Crazy Dave’ and builds a life where everything is fine. But everything is not fine. And, at the centre of it all, trying desperately to work it all out, is the real David.

Growing Up Asian in Australia

Alice Pung (ed)

Asian-Australians have often been written about by outsiders, as outsiders. In this collection by well-known and emerging writers they tell their own stories with verve, courage and a large dose of humour. Tales of leaving home, falling in love, coming out and finding one’s feet show us what it is really like to grow up Asian, and Australian.

Am I Black Enough for You?

Anita Heiss

In this deeply personal memoir, told in her distinctive, wry style, Anita Heiss gives a first-hand account of her experiences as a woman with an Aboriginal mother and Austrian father, and explains the development of her activist consciousness. Read her story and ask: what does it take for someone to be black enough for you?

The Hate Race

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Suburban Australia. Sweltering heat. Three bedroom blonde-brick. Family of five. Beat-up Ford Falcon. Vegemite on toast. Maxine Beneba Clarke’s life is just like all the other Aussie kids on her street. Except for this one, glaring, inescapably obvious thing.