Book Review: Legends: Women Who Have Changed the World Through the Eyes of Great Women Writers


Published in 1998, this book is as relevant as ever given the current movement of female empowerment and charge of women’s rights. A broad collection of essays written by famed female writers celebrate fifty imperfect, yet incredibly talented, women of public acclaim.

Influential writers include (in no particular order): Maya Angelou, Joan Didion, Gloria Steinem, Isabella Rossellini, and so many more. A sample of women celebrated include (again, in no particular order): Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Harriet Tubman, Frida Kahlo, Oprah Winfrey, Anne Frank, Julia Child. Diversities are real, which is why I liked the range within the pages showcasing how achieving in a particular field may look.

As an aesthetic bonus, each woman written about features a monochrome photograph of themselves. Exceptional photographers who contributed include Annie Lebovitz, Man Ray, Cecil Beaton, etc. (Basically, this book is packed with gifted people.)

Review: I do not remember how this book fell into my hands, but I am glad it did. It is a classy rendition of a celebrity magazine. Engrossing because we are often familiar with the females mentioned. And the ones unknown capture attention in a curious quest to be known, given their celebrity.

One aspect I appreciate about a book like this is how easily you can read a story or two, then bookmark and set aside for next time. Even reading stories out of order, or skipping a story entirely, still preserves the overall integrity and theme of the book. As a note, if I had tried reading the entire material in one sitting, I am fairly certain it would have been overload.

Anyone desiring more knowledge of women who made modern day legendary contributions, I recommend this book.