In the spring of 1980, the popular magazine Women’s Magazine published an article by writer Margaret Atwood entitled “The Women’s Revolution.”
It was one of the first books by an outsider to be published in the United States.
“It is an exciting time,” Atwood wrote.
“I know, I know, you’ve heard all about women’s rights, but this revolution has the power to make it real.”
It would take three years to publish The Women’s Book, and Atwood was quickly forgotten.
“When the book came out, I got a phone call from my publisher asking me if I’d ever heard of the book.
That was the last time I saw the article,” says Atwood, who was living in New York when she wrote it.
“But the book was published and became the most influential work in American literature in the decade, if not the century, I have known.”
The Women are now celebrated as the first women’s book.
“Margaret Atwood’s The Women” has sold more than 10 million copies since its publication in 1981.
But the book wasn’t just about women.
It was about women as well as men, women’s voices and ideas, and the power of the voices of women, says Elizabeth Kiely, co-founder of the Women’s Literary Association.
Kieles, author of “The Power of Women,” says she started reading Atwood in the 1960s.
“Atwood was a very active, very visible writer, and her work made it clear that women are in the majority in all areas of society, and she was the only one to do it,” Kielies says.
“Women’s Literature was a book that was in and of itself a celebration of women and their voices.
And so it was the first book that we were able to celebrate the voice of women.”
Kielys also says Atwoods’ work has inspired her to continue to create works that are accessible to all readers, even to those who are not familiar with women’s literary work.
“The book itself was a great introduction for women, but it was also a book about the voices and the ideas of women,” Kiesly says.
Women’s literary magazines were first established in the 1920s, and it wasn’t until the 1960, that many women began to explore writing.
In the early 1970s, women writers began to be included in the mainstream literary canon.
Atwood and other women writers like Gail Dinesen and Helen Fielding began to gain wider attention.
And in 1977, women authors were included in a book titled The Great Women’s Writing Contest.
It is one of only a handful of books that are included in The Great American Novel, a selection of the most important female writers in American history.
“What I love about the Women is that it is a celebration and a celebration that has never been done before in the history of literature,” Kiewles says.
And it is because of the work of women that women have made a resurgence in the publishing industry.
Kiews is one such writer who has made her mark on the literary landscape.
“She was a tremendous writer and a brilliant editor, but she also had an impact on my career,” Kiefel says.
She credits Atwood with opening the door for women to publish their own work and, more recently, with helping to create a culture of women writers.
“If she had written about race, she would have never been published.
She wrote about gender,” Kietz says.
Kiefels says that women writers are now often the most visible voices in the industry, but they are not the only ones.
“That is a huge problem because if we’re all women writers, that means we are not writing about anything else, because we have no other work to do,” she says.
In fact, in 2015, there were only 17 women authors on the New York Times best-seller list, according to the Times, and less than 1 percent of those were women.
“To me, that is an indictment of the entire industry,” Kitzlisch says.
But Kieys says it is also an indictment on women’s power in general.
“For women to be represented in the literary world is one way of saying, We are all part of this story,” Kielys says.
For Kiees, that story has been a long and arduous one.
She is still a part of the women’s publishing industry, and Kiefers says she has been through her fair share of battles, but Kieliches fight continues.
“My greatest challenge has been making sure that the women who come forward are respected and celebrated and recognized for their contributions,” Kiegles says, “not because they are female, but because they represent women.”
For Kielies, the book is more than a history lesson.
“We have to start thinking about the next chapter of our history,”