One of my favorite college courses was a Women’s Literature Study.
I spent a summer minimester reading and discussing women’s issues with my favorite professor (who was a man with a daughter) and only half a dozen girls. It was a small, intimate class and I learned a lot about myself and who I wanted to be.
I have three daughters and a son. I want them to love women authors too. I want my girls to grow into strong women. I want my son to be respectful of women.
While some of these titles have graphic content, they are important works to understand women around the world and how we struggle for identity, to be heard.
Throughout history, men have had power and control.
Women were in the background, in the kitchen, in the nursery, hidden away from the world, unseen and unheard.
Many of these authors challenge social, cultural, and political ideas. Their voices will not be silenced.
This is a book list for a mature reader. I read most of these titles in college and beyond. These would be great options for a book club.
I look forward to reading these books again and discussing them with my daughters when they’re ready.
My Top Ten Women Authors
I love Atwood’s writing style and her focus on gender politics. When people ask what my favorite book is, I am quick to say Surfacing. It was a life-changing read for me.
2. Amy Tan
Spellbinding stories of Chinese and Chinese-American women and their struggles as mothers and daughters and to be seen and heard throughout history.
A writer focusing on the cultural identity of Chicana women amidst the isolation of misogyny and white American dominance.
She grew up as a Dominican American in New York. She focuses primarily on issues of cultural assimilation and identity, as evident in the combination of personal and political tones in her writing.
Her works focus on mystical realism as she writes from personal experience, focusing on South American women‘s relationships.
She focuses on topics such as social justice, biodiversity, and human interaction with their communities and environments.
7. Alice Walker
In all her written works, Walker examines the creative inheritance of one’s maternity. She has been an activist all her adult life: for civil rights, the poor, women – all living beings. She coined the term “Womanism” as the black women’s struggle for gender equality, as opposed to the term “Feminism” that primarily focuses on white women.
8. Kate Chopin
Regional Cajun and Creole race interests and feminism mark Chopin’s writing style. Specifically The Awakening is recommended for its frank approach to sexual themes. The main character leaves her marriage to have an affair. It was shocking for the times and received much criticism. Desiree’s Baby focuses on matters of race and moralism.
An Indian American author, born in London and raised in Rhode Island. She highlights the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures and assimilation, and the poignant, tangled ties between generations.
10. Azar Nafisi
After resigning from her job as a professor at a university in Tehran due to repressive policies, the author secretly gathered seven female students to read forbidden Western classics every week in her home. She wrote about it in Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. Celebrate our freedom of education and learn about the desperation of these women to learn.
Some other Good Books About Women:
The author originally traveled to Afghanistan to offer humanitarian aid. Soon, she learned she could create an extraordinary community of women by empowering them through the art of beauty.
This novel challenged the sexual morals of late Victorian England. The themes and events certainly offer many discussion opportunities.
The main character’s voice is silenced. She is only able to express herself when she cooks. Esquivel employs magical realism and writes like a screenplay. Setting is turn-of-the-century Mexico.
There are so many wonderful writers to name that it was hard to narrow it down to a top ten!
Who are your favorite female authors?
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