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Strong Like Her

A Celebration of Rule Breakers, History Makers, and Unstoppable Athletes

Photographs by Sophy Holland

About The Book

Beautiful and powerful, Strong Like Her presents the awe-inspiring account of women’s athleticism throughout history.

Journalist Haley Shapley takes us through the delightful untold history of female strength to understand how we can better encourage—and celebrate—the physical power of women.

Part group biography, part cultural history, Strong Like Her delves into the fascinating stories of our muscular foremothers. From the first female Olympian (who entered the chariot race through a loophole) to the circus stars who could lift their husbands above their heads and make it look like “a little light housework with a feather duster,” these brave and brawny women paved the way for the generations to follow.

Filled with Sophy Holland’s beautiful por­traits of some of today’s most awe-inspiring ath­letes, including Peloton instructor Robin Arzón, bodybuilder Dana Linn Bailey, actress/dancer Patina Miller, and many others, Strong Like Her celebrates strength in all its forms. Illuminating the lives and accomplish­ments of storied female sports stars—whose con­tributions to society go far beyond their entries in record books—Shapley challenges us to rethink everything we thought we knew about the power of women.

About The Author

(c) Sophy Holland

Haley Shapley is a journalist whose writing has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Fodor’s, SELF, and many more. She has cycled 206 miles from Seattle to Portland, summited the highest glaciated peak in the continental United States, competed in a bodybuilding show, and finished a marathon. The author of Strong Like Her, Shapley lives in Seattle.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Gallery Books (April 7, 2020)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982120870

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Raves and Reviews

“Athletes are the greatest of all feminists. If a woman’s chief occupation is no longer needlework, if strong is finally beautiful, and if all occupations are open, it’s thanks to champions like these.”
—Sally Jenkins, author of The Real All Americans and sports columnist for The Washington Post

Strong Like Her binds the stories of incredible women with their own unique strengths and motivations. It is a celebration of women's power, proving that there is nothing we cannot do.”
Allyson Felix, nine-time Olympic medalist

“Shapley’s book puts stereotypes that women are ‘weak’ to shame.” —The Tempest

“A book that will leave readers feeling inspired and powerful.”

“This celebration of female athleticism and insightful look into what it means to be a physically strong woman trades anger for calm, and incredulity for hope, but leaves room for Shapley’s sense of humor, countering pain with laughter in the only way millennials know how.”
New Orleans Review

“The author’s quippy prose offers hope for the role strong women will play in the future of politics and in the fight for equality.”
Seattle Magazine

“A love letter to muscles and the women who rock them so gloriously.”

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