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Nina Ansary (Author)

Anonymous Is a Woman

Anonymous Is a Woman

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Revela Press
9 X 10 in
256 pg

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Next Generation Indie Book Award “Grand Prize/First Place Winner Nonfiction”

Next Generation Indie Book Award “First Place Winner Women’s Issues Nonfiction”

Next Generation Indie Book Award “First Place Winner Education/Academic"

IndieReader Discovery Awards “First Place Winner Nonfiction History”

Benjamin Franklin Award “Silver for History”

Benjamin Franklin Award “Gold for Interior Design”

“Books of the Week” — Smithsonian Magazine

“17 Brilliant Books That You Won’t Struggle to Finish” — Buzzfeed

“With a global economic crisis looming, Ansary’s book is a reminder that our responses must be alive to inequalities already at play.” — The Times Literary Supplement

Award-winning author, women's rights advocate, and historian Dr. Nina Ansary takes readers on a 4,000-year historical journey to expose the roots and manifestations of systemic gender discrimination. The book’s biographical profiles of fifty forgotten female innovators—brought to life by international illustrator Petra Dufkova—shatter deeply rooted gender myths to tell remarkable stories about groundbreaking contributions to the global community.

In 1929, British novelist Virginia Woolf ran her fingers along the spines of the books in her library wondering why no woman in Shakespeare’s era had written “a word of that extraordinary literature when every other man, it seemed, was capable of song or sonnet.” She concluded, “Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.”

Nearly a century after Woolf penned those incisive words—frequently modified as “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman”—the phenomenon of female anonymity persists as women worldwide continue to be restricted by society’s formal and unspoken barriers.

  • Why does Virginia Woolf’s statement still echo in the twenty-first century?
  • Why have women been consistently denied opportunities that are automatically given to men?
  • And why has the historical record failed to adequately recognize notable women?

Anonymous Is a Woman. . .exposes the roots and manifestations of institutionalized gender and racial discrimination; dismantles centuries of historical bias through biographical profiles of fifty remarkable, yet forgotten women innovators; and challenges ingrained stereotypical assumptions to advance an unconventional argument for equality and inclusivity.

100% of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated. The primary recipients will be The Center for Human Rights in Iran, a New York-based 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights in Iran, and The London School of Economics Centre for Women, Peace, and Security, an academic space for scholars, practitioners, activists, policymakers, and students to develop strategies that promote justice, human rights, and participation of women in conflict-affected situations around the world.

Nina Ansary
Author Bio

Dr. Nina Ansary is an internationally recognized award-winning author and women's rights advocate. She is a UN Women Global Champion for Innovation and a Visiting Fellow at The London School of Economics Centre for Women, Peace & Security and has appeared on Fox News, Larry King, the BBC, and been covered in a variety of leading publications, including the The New York Times,, Newsweek, Glamour, Teen Vogue and the Yale Journal of International Affairs. Dr. Ansary is the recipient of the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the 2018 Trailblazer Award from Barnard College, Columbia University. She has also been recognized as one of "14 Privileged Women to Change the World" by Marie Claire, and "6 Women Who Build Bridges Not Walls" by The New York Times. Dr. Ansary holds an MA in Middle Eastern Studies and a PhD in History from Columbia University.

Dr. Ansary's previous book, Jewels of Allah: The Untold Story of Women in Iran garnered multiple awards, including the 2016 International Book Award in "Women's Issues.".