“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, 1818
Historically, women (and people of color) have been sorely underrepresented on many reading lists. To help change that, we're highlighting women authors who more than deserve your attention.
Discover classic women authors who flew under the radar with male pen names, and re-discover those who broke the mold and dominated their genres (hello, Agatha Christie!) or invented new ones (see: the history of Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein).
You can also browse books by Black women, by early Irish female writers, or even books by royal women. For more modern and global women’s fiction, we suggest books that pass the Bechdel test, books by Elena Ferrante, and even books by women crime writers. Regardless of what you’re looking for, all of the recommendations below will add some much-needed feminine perspective to your reading list.
Her depictions of race, religion, and history are uniquely poignant and informative.
Penelope Fitzgerald once described herself as "an old author who had never been a young one."
This 1927 novel is a philosophical reflection upon the complexity of the human experience.
Inspire your little ones and honor the women who made history.
Honor Virginia Woolf's birthday with her own words.
The British author was known for her exploration of men and women.
Find more feminist treasures.
Settle in for serious sagas.
Depressed that Mad Men is no more? Read your way through the pain.
By Jessica Ferri & Kimmy Kelly
Little dramas everywhere.
They got it done.
Don't "leaf" these off your TBR list!
"Someone spat in my face because I was with a white man."
By Tineka Smith
These books bring you to the beach any time of year.
Settle in for dramatic storytelling.
Mary McCarthy's books pushed boundaries.
Love her or hate her, Stein is a part of our literary fabric.
Meet the women of the White House.
The famed feminist always knows what to say.
"For me and the countless women who put their lives at risk to control their own destinies, the world changed in 1973 when Roe v. Wade became the law of the land."