Authors: Jenny Williamson and Genn McMenemy
Publication: February 21, 2023 by Adams Media
Genre: Nonfiction, Mythology
Find it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo | Waterstones
Uncover the fascinating and complex women from mythology and folklore with this collection of stories profiling powerful goddesses, mighty queens, and legendary creatures.
Get inspired with 50 fascinating stories of powerful female figures from mythologies around the world. From heroines and deities to leaders and mythical creatures, this collection explores figures of myth who can inspire modern readers with their ability to shape our culture with the stories of their power, wisdom, compassion, and cunning.
Featured characters include:
-Atalanta: Greek heroine and huntress who killed the Caledonia Boar and joined the Argonauts
-Sky-Woman: The first woman in Iroquois myth who fell through a hole in the sky and into our world
-Pele: Hawaiian volcano goddess
-Clídna: Queen of the Banshees in Irish legend
-La Llorona: A ghostly woman in Mexican folklore who wanders the waterfront
Celebrate these game-changing, attention-worthy female characters with this collection of engaging tales.
Women of Myth by Jenny Williamson and Genn McMenemy, hosts of the amazing podcast Ancient History Fangirl, is THE book that you’ll want to read if you are, just like me, a mythology nerd or if you’d like to learn more about mythology and folklore that aren’t only centered on western ones. It featured diverse mythological women from all corners of the world and I just loved that so damn much.
The book started strong with a foreword by Liv Albert, host of Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! podcast. I could think of no one better for this and her foreword started perfectly with “There’s nothing I love more than mythology… except maybe women in mythology.” I fully agree!
In Women of Myth you’ll find no less than 50 mythological women highlighted and they are divided into three parts: goddesses, heroines and monsters.
The Goddesses: Some goddesses featured were Amaterasu from Japan, Ishtar from Ancient Mesopotamia, Atargis from Syria, Mami Wata from Africa and more.
The Heroines: Some heroines featured were Amba/Shikhandi from India, Princess Bari from Korea, Mulan from China, Thákane from southern Africa and more.
The Monsters: Some monsters featured were Alcha Kandicha from Morocco, Clídna from Ireland, Babamik from Papua New Guinea, Medusa from Greece and more.
I really liked how the different women were categorized like that and that there was also a little guide with the pronunciation, appearance and what their symbols were. Especially the symbols I found super fascinating to learn about. Like I said above in this review this book features diverse women from myth from all over the world and this is just so great and not to be underestimated. I also love how the authors don’t shy away from the bad in mythology like predatory men who pray on women, which is part of a lot of the stories from the featured goddesses, heroines and monsters. Jenny and Genn did this amazingly!
Of course I also have to talk about the gorgeous illustrations by Sara Richard. I was already familiar with her work from other illustrated books but she really blew my mind with her art work in this one. I loved how she portrayed the women she illustrated. They were each and every one just glorious to look at.
Women of Myth: From Deer Woman and Mami Wata to Amaterasu and Athena, Your Guide to the Amazing and Diverse Women from World Mythology by Jenny Williamson and Genn McMenemy is a beautifully diverse and illustrated book that’s informative as well as a true joy to read.
About the authors:
Jenny Williamson is a poet, writer, storyteller, freelance copywriter, and cocreator of the Ancient History Fangirl podcast. She has always been obsessed with ancient history and mythology, and blends her love of both with her passion for writing and storytelling, making the stories she tells accessible for modern readers. She has published poetry in multiple journals online and in print, and has a chapbook out with Finishing Line Press. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Heloise and usually one or two foster kittens.
Genn McMenemyhas been in love with mythology since before she could read. She and her brothers used to listen to their mother read myths and fairytales and dream about what life was like a long time ago. She has used her nerdy knowledge of mythology and ancient history to cocreate the Ancient History Fangirl podcast. Now she is a full-time award-winning freelance marketer, writer, researcher, and copywriter. Originally from the US, she now lives in the UK with her husband, Glen, and their tiny dog, Triss. She spends all of her free time traveling, visiting historical sites, and researching her next writing projects. Women of Myth is her first book.