Let’s start Women’s History Month by giving a shout out to our favorite female authors!
This list could go on forever and ever, so I’m going to focus on some classics, because these women really helped pave the way for other female authors. Hopefully, over the years, we’ll be able to compile a more comprehensive list (I’ve very aware that this list is only white ladies). Have you read a book by all of these authors? If not, it may be a good time to pick one up!
Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre is canonized as a classic and for good reason. Her character building is incredible, and the main plot twist is disturbing.
Emily Brontë: Something was in the water with these sisters! Wuthering Heights is a strange, strange read. It’s dark and twisted… but also memorable. I read this book when I was 17, and though I likely won’t read it again, I will never forget it.
Anne Brontë: Okay, truth time – I haven’t read anything by Anne…yet. But I will! I swear I will! A character in a book I’m currently reading is obsessed with her, and who am I to judge? The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is on the TBR list.
If you’re interested in learning more about these awesome ladies, Stuff You Missed in History Class did a great podcast on them. It’s only half an hour, but incredibly informative.
Jane Austen: Here’s another heavy hitter. Pride and Prejudice, anyone? Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility? While some of her themes may feel a little repetitive if you binge-read them, her wit and grace prevail throughout. If I could only read one, I’d choose Pride and Prejudice. What about you?
SYMIHC also did a podcast on Jane. Listen here.
Mary Shelley: Who hasn’t had to read Frankenstein in high school? Leave it to society to take a story about love and loneliness, and just focus on the monster.
Kate Chopin: Does anyone else think about The Awakening when wading out into a lake? It’s a beautiful story about roles, and the impossibility of expectations placed on women in the 19th century. It’s important to understand where we’ve come from, and how far we haven’t progressed (in some ways).
Sylvia Plath: I remember reading The Bell Jar in the car as my parents dropped me off to settle me in for college. All I could hope was that my young adulthood would fare better than hers. This is an interesting read on the heels of The Awakening. It’s a sort of check-in, 100 year later, on what a woman could and couldn’t be in the 1960s.
Not a comprehensive list, but a reminder of some of the heavy-hitters over the last 200 years or so. Who are your favorites?