The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World (Hardcover)
We tell girls that they can be anything, so why do 90 percent of Americans believe that geniuses are almost always men? New York Times bestselling journalist Janice Kaplan explores the powerful forces that have rigged the system—and celebrates the women geniuses past and present who have triumphed anyway.
Even in this time of rethinking women’s roles, we define genius almost exclusively through male achievement. When asked to name a genius, people mention Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Steve Jobs. As for great women? In one survey, the only female genius anyone listed was Marie Curie.
Janice Kaplan, the New York Times bestselling author of The Gratitude Diaries, set out to determine why the extraordinary work of so many women has been brushed aside. Using her unique mix of memoir, narrative, and inspiration, she makes surprising discoveries about women geniuses now and throughout history, in fields from music to robotics. Through interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and dozens of women geniuses at work in the world today—including Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold and AI expert Fei-Fei Li—she proves that genius isn't just about talent. It's about having that talent recognized, nurtured, and celebrated.
Across the generations, even when they face less-than-perfect circumstances, women geniuses have created brilliant and original work. In The Genius of Women, you’ll learn how they ignored obstacles and broke down seemingly unshakable barriers. The geniuses in this moving, powerful, and very entertaining book provide more than inspiration—they offer a clear blueprint to everyone who wants to find her own path and move forward with passion.
About the Author
Janice Kaplan has enjoyed wide success as a magazine editor, television producer, writer, and journalist. The former editor in chief of Parade magazine, she is the author or coauthor of fourteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Gratitude Diaries and I'll See You Again. She lives in New York City and Kent, Connecticut.
“Kaplan's writing style is engaging and full of relatable examples… Readers will be enlightened, stupefied, and provoked in turn, as Kaplan repeatedly harpoons ingrained notions about genius being the exclusive domain of men… Expect this well-reasoned account to generate a lot of interest and conversation.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Why has the barrier-breaking work of so many women been brushed aside throughout history? New York Times bestselling journalist Janice Kaplan is celebrating much deserved female geniuses in The Genius of Women.”
—Parade Magazine, February Must-Reads
“The Genius of Women: From Overlooked To Changing The World reads like an enviable travelogue, braiding together personal narrative, historical anecdotes, behavioral science, and dozens of far-flung interviews with genius women — astrophysicist Jo Dunkley, director Tina Landau, neuroscientist Lise Eliot — all wrapped up in big socio-cultural questions on gender, implicit bias, and the subjectivity of brilliance and worth.”
“From science, technology, and math to literature, art, and psychology, Kaplan presents a diverse cast…Kaplan's coverage of this broad-reaching topic is as deep and diverse as women's abilities.”
“All of the stories are a delight to read ... The author’s contributions are engaging ... The extent of the author’s research makes this book a worthwhile addition to the growing literature offering long overdue profiles of the world’s most brilliant women.”
“Former Parade editor-in-chief Kaplan (The Gratitude Diaries) explores why the accomplishments of so many women have been overlooked and celebrates contemporary women excelling in a wide range of fields in this chatty yet well-researched history ... This upbeat work impresses with its broad range and inspirational message.”
“With fascinating insight and wit, Kaplan delves into cultural factors contributing to the bewildering yet common belief that brilliance is a characteristic reserved for men.”
"Kaplan’s research into the history of women geniuses is thorough, illuminating, and – dare I say it – pure genius."