Equally celebrated and reviled, Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of society's great lightning rods. To wit: The controversial former first lady, secretary of state, and 2016 Democratic nominee for president caused a mini uproar when she recently sat and casually flipped through 60,000 of her printed emails at an Italian art exhibit based on the infamous messages.
While no amount of text has been spared on Clinton, she has, in turn, turned her attention to inspirational women who have not received the same attention. She and daughter Chelsea Clinton have published The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience. The book will be released on October 1 and is available for preorder.
To promote the new tome, Hillary and Chelsea will head to Houston for a special engagement titled “The Book of Gutsy Women: An Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton,” on October 25. The event, co-hosted by Brazos Bookstore, will be held at the University of Houston's Cullen Performance Hall. Tickets are on sale now.
The Book of Gutsy Women celebrates more than 100 women who have inspired the Clintons throughout their lives. “Each of these women has fought and won the kinds of victories that pave the way for progress for all of us,” said Hillary, in a statement. “To us, they are all gutsy women — leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. This book is a continuation of a conversation Chelsea and I have been having since she was a little girl, and we are excited to welcome others into that conversation.”
The women featured in the book range from Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist whose Asperger’s syndrome has shaped her advocacy, to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a 17th-century nun and poet whose outspoken views on women’s role in society scandalized audiences, according to a release.
Other noteworthy stories include Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War surgeon who was arrested more than once for wearing pants, and Marie Curie and her daughter, Irène, who worked side-by-side in their laboratory. Politico Shirley Chisholm, who ran for president in 1972 and paved the way for generations of women in office, makes an appearance.
Global figures include Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to lead an African country, and Manal al-Sharif, who captured the world’s attention in 2011 when she filmed herself driving a car in defiance of Saudi custom. Here at home, Ellen DeGeneres stars alongside heroines in Hillary’s and Chelsea’s circles of friends and family, and more.
While it boasts an expansive roster of women, the Clintons say they actually had to whittle it down. “We had already written more than 200 essays, so we had to cut that in half. That was probably the worst moment of our writing experience,” Hillary said in an Instagram video promoting the book.
Both Clintons boast several New York Times bestsellers, including Hillary’s It Takes a Village (1996) and What Happened (2017), and Chelsea’s She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World (2017). Time will tell if this offering will land on the coveted list.
“The gutsy women in this book share a fierce optimism that their work and lives will make a difference in the world. And, they’re right,” said Chelsea, in a statement. “We hope readers will draw strength from their stories as we have, because if history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs more gutsy women.”
“The Book of Gutsy Women: An Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton” comes to the University of Houston's Cullen Performance Hall (4300 University Dr.) on October 25. Doors at 5:30 pm; program begins at 6:30 pm. Each ticket includes a hardback copy of the book. $38.