BOOKS: 25 Suggestions for #ReadWomen2014

As an English major at a women’s college (Simmons College in Boston), I didn’t read as many women authors as you’d think. I remember a Victorian Experience class with George Eliot as one of the authors along with Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens, naturally. I took a wonderful summer course at Emerson College that included Edith Wharton on the syllabus and I immediately fell for her. Upon graduating I’ve made up for not reading that many female authors and likely read more female than male authors. As with any business, I know that the literary world’s filled with many more big-name male authors and lesser-known female authors. More literary prizes go to men than to women. Female authors usually get pushed into the “women’s fiction” a.k.a. “chick lit” genre whereas men nearly always write literary fiction, mystery/thriller and nonfiction. There’s little parity. So I’m all for this #ReadWomen2014 movement.

Here are 25 of my favorite books by women, a mix of classic and modern, if you need some reading suggestions:

Glimpses vintage

1. Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton

song of lark

2. The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

moore

3. A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

journal of a solitude

4. Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton

mccullers

5. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

walker

6. Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker

emperorschildren.messud

7. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

intuition

8. Intuition by Allegra Goldman

ghana must go

9. Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

lowland

10. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

portrait in sepia

11. Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende

good earth

12. The Good Earth by Pearl Buck

revolution-of-every-day

13. The Revolution of Every Day by Cari Luna

mccarthy1

14. The Group by Mary McCarthy

bell jar

15. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

driver'sseat.spark

16. Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark

vagabond.collette

17. The Vagabond by Collette

education of harriet hatfield

18. The Education of Harriet Hatfield by May Sarton

agnes grey

19. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

kingsolver

20. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

byatt

21. Possession by A.S. Byatt

gaitskill

22. Don’t Cry by Mary Gaitskill

oranges

23. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

broken heart.singer

24. The Wholeness of a Broken Heart by Katie Singer

on beauty

25. On Beauty by Zadie Smith

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