Best Women Author Recommendations

“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.

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18 Mary McCarthy Books to Get Lost In

Mary McCarthy's books pushed boundaries.

Gertrude Stein's Books, Life and Legacy

Love her or hate her, Stein is a part of our literary fabric. 

Sarah Weddington Remembers Arguing Roe v. Wade to the Supreme Court

"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."

14 Romance Books for Fans of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton Series

Wherever these families go, trouble and passion are quick to follow.

8 Immersive Biographical Fiction Books

Check out these takes on some of history’s most interesting figures.

10 Books Like The Color Purple

“Don’t let them run over you...you got to fight.”

Read an Excerpt From The Lost Daughter

See Ferrante's unnerving words for yourself.

Joan Didion: Her Books, Life, and Legacy

A woman with a love for the written word, and a dedication to the truth.

Remembering bell hooks and How She Impacted Feminism

"Understanding her was crucial to reigniting my feminist identity; finding her at all was a miracle."

Why So Happy Together Should Be Your Next Book Club Pick

You won’t be able to stop talking about this novel.

Sylvia Plath's Lost Short Story, "Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom"

The story behind her work that went unpublished for almost six decades.