“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.
The Gone with the Wind author was a woman ahead of her time.
Ann Jones's revolutionary work offers powerful insight into domestic violence.
Gloria Steinem reflects on Dorothy Dinnerstein's feminist classic and gender equality in early societies.
Gloria Steinem discusses the continued importance of Marge Piercy's sci-fi classic, Woman on the Edge of Time.
Paula Gunn Allen, a Native American activist, offers hope for the future in The Sacred Hoop, says Gloria Steinem.
How Margaret Atwood's classic shows the significance of reproductive freedom.
How Mary McCarthy's classic can be read as an indicator of change—or the lack of it.
Thoughts on timeless and timely books.
Eileen Goudge takes us behind her writing of Trail of Secrets!