Christina Ciampa was tired of reading books that didn’t represent her life.
“I felt like there were so many stories, especially stories from women, from the gay community, from the trans community, from all different walks of life, that were just not reflected in a lot of the texts that I read,” she says. “It’s been a mission of mine to change that trajectory.”
As a survivor of domestic abuse, Ciampa went digging for stories she could relate to, and found that they were out there—but they tended to get less shelf space and be shortchanged by publishers. For example, a study from Queens College-CUNY found that books written by female authors tend to be priced 45 percent below those written by men, according to a 2018 article from The Guardian.
Ciampa launched All She Wrote Books in April, a pop-up bookstore selling books written by female, queer, and trans authors. It’s her way of making sure diverse narratives get lifted, get on shelves, and get to readers.
“There are not many stories out there that connect people in a way that they know they’re not alone,” Ciampa says. “When I was venturing down this road, I was like, ‘Well, why can’t I tell my story? Why should it be hidden? Why should I only tell it to certain people?’ There should be a way to tell it and a way to tell it in a bigger volume that could ultimately help people.”
“We are in 2019. There’s no reason why we can’t make more shelf space for more writers that tell unique and different stories,” she adds.
All She Wrote dabbles in all genres, and offers a mix of well-known books (think “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay and “Becoming” by Michelle Obama) and more obscure titles.
Ciampa, who lives in East Somerville, has done a total of four pop-ups so far at Bow Market’s Canopy Room, Winter Hill Brewing Company, and the Boston Women’s Market. Her next stop is on June 29 from 12 to 5 p.m. at Winter Hill Brewing.
While All She Wrote is just getting started, Ciampa has big plans, including launching a publishing arm and getting a brick-and-mortar space in Somerville. All She Wrote’s online store is slated to launch this month.