Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Women Who Overcame Adversity Are Subject Of New Book By National City Teacher

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Courtesy of Mango Publishing

The cover of "Still I Rise: The Persistence of Phenomenal Women" is pictured.

A National City teacher profiled 25 women who overcame adversity in her new book "Still I Rise: The Persistence of Phenomenal Women."

Marlene Wagman-Geller, who teaches at Sweetwater High School, said the idea for the book came from a conversation she had with a stranger.

"I met this woman who had all kinds of troubles, like more than the garden variety kind of troubles and after she finished telling me I just didn't know anything to say to her and then she said something that resonated with me, which is 'hell, I'm still here,'" Wagman-Geller said. "... as I was driving home I said 'that's the book,' if I could just compile women who underwent a tsunami of pain but they didn't just survive, they prevailed, maybe it would be helpful to people who are going through their own emotional troubles."

In the book, Wagman-Geller profiled well-known women such as Maya Angelou, Malala Yousafzai and Helen Keller, as well as lesser-known women like Gail Devers, who went to Sweetwater High School in National City and went on to become a three-time Olympic champion despite her battle with Graves disease.

Wagman-Geller said she also was inspired to write about strong women in this book and her previous book because women are sometimes missing from standard history and literature curriculum.

"I do want my students and other women to know that yeah, they are in good company," she said.

Wagman-Geller will be speaking about the book Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Warwicks in La Jolla.

Women Who Overcame Adversity Are Subject Of New Book By National City Teacher


Marlene Wagman-Geller, author, "Still I Rise: The Persistence of Phenomenal Women"


Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.