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Tough Women

Written by Jenny Tough

Key Stage 4 Gritty Reads Non-Fiction Books for Outdoor Activities: Gardening, Wildlife, Birdwatching and more... People / Places Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE) Sports

LoveReading View on Tough Women

Extraordinary true-life tales from inspirational adventuresses of the great outdoors

As Tough Women’s subtitle declares, these are “stories of grit, courage and determination”. True tales from twenty-two tough women who undertake awe-inspiring adventures across the globe, from canoeing the Canadian wilderness, to hiking Pakistan, to cycling South America. 


Its editor is the intrepid Jenny Tough, a Canadian mountaineering expert who notes in her introduction that “the outdoor industry is actually fully of women, but when it comes to the highest level of media…the demographic dwindles to one”. Fortunately, this sexist state of affairs could be on the verge of changing - through giving voice to the “badass outdoorswomen” who here tell their extraordinary stories, this book might just change that narrow narrative and inspire new generations of female adventuresses. 


Each account enthrals like the best kind of travel writing. There are dazzling evocations of, for example, rugged Himalayan mountain-scapes, lush South American jungles, and howling Norwegian glacial valleys. Many of the women’s stories reveal monumental physical and emotional challenges - challenges tackled and overcome with super-human strength and resilience - and all of them underpinned by a joyously life-affirming spirit of curiosity.

For more books with a strong, feminist theme, visit our Girl Power feature.

Joanne Owen

More About This Book

A word from from Greg Hackett, London Mountain Film Festival;

Tough Women is a new collection of adventure stories compiled and edited by none other than Jenny Tough - a woman teased at school for her name who has gone on to live up to it in spectacular style, amongst other things running solo across some of the world's most unwelcoming mountain ranges. It's one of those books you can leave lying around, pick up and put down, read a story at a time and let it tick over in the back of your mind as you try to figure out what it all means - I mean really, why are these women out there making themselves so vulnerable? The conclusion of this male reader is not that they are more vulnerable than men (though on some occasions this might be true) but that they are more prepared to write about their vulnerability than men are, and embrace it.

Tough Women Synopsis

It's time we celebrated women in adventure.

What does toughness mean to you? Perhaps it's being physically fit and mentally resilient. Perhaps it's doing something no one else has done before. Perhaps it's breaking down boundaries and proving what you can do, in spite of the naysayers. Perhaps it's travelling alone, immersing yourself in new cultures and meeting new people. Perhaps it's running ultramarathons in the blistering heat and beating the competition. Perhaps it's conquering your fears.

The badass adventurers in this collection are all fearless, intelligent, compassionate and curious about the world - and they all happen to be female. From endurance obstacle races to arctic expeditions, from mountain climbing to wingsuit flying, from horse trekking to swimming the English Channel, they have set the bar high for what women are capable of. Let yourself be inspired by their stories of grit, courage, determination, triumph and heartbreak - you never know, it might lead to something incredible!

Featuring stories by: Sarah Outen, Anna McNuff, Emily Chappell, Emma Svensson, Ann Daniels, Anoushé Husain, Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, Rea Kolbl, Rickie Cotter, Kate Rawles, Annie Lloyd-Evans & Vedangi Kulkarni.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781787833005
Publication date: 13th August 2020
Author: Jenny Tough
Publisher: Summersdale Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 304 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 4
Topics: Body / Health, Gritty Reads, Non-Fiction, Out and About, People / Places, Personal Social Health Economic , Sports

About Jenny Tough

Jenny Tough is an adventure traveller originally from Canada. She enjoys writing about her solo mountain expeditions and tales of world travel as a solo female. When she's not exploring the mountains of the world, she lives in Scotland, and occasionally wherever she parks her adventure van.

More About Jenny Tough

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