To celebrate International Women’s Day, a list of my top 5 female writers. This list could definitely have been twice as long!
I first came across Margaret Atwood’s books when I was doing my A-levels and we studied Cat’s Eye. I was immediately caught by her writing style and also by the subject matter. Here, Atwood expertly depicts the power play between young girls. It remains one of my all-time favourite novels. I have fond memories of sitting in the sunshine on campus at uni devouring more of Atwood’s novels. My other top faves are The Handmaid’s Tale, The Blind Assassin and The Robber Bride.
Persuasion is my favourite Austen novel. (A controversial choice for some, I realise.) Pride and Prejudice is pretty high up on the list too, closely followed by Sense and Sensibility. I am definitely more of a Elinor than a Marianne, though, although I did want to be Kate Winslet in the movie adaptation. Her curls! Austen’s books are such smart social commentaries, and full of wit.
Beloved is my favourite of Morrison’s books. It’s a tough read, often very gruesome, but also heart-breaking and beautiful. I think Morrison is also so inspiring of new writers. “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”
I read Jane Eyre for the first time at my grandparents’ house and immediately fell for its stubborn, brave, loyal and intelligent lead. I have since read it many times and love the fact that each time I do, I found something different to admire. It truly feels like one of the first YA novels.
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret and Forever defined a generation. Blume was way ahead of her time. I was lucky enough to see her at an event at YALC a couple of years ago, and she came across as so wise, smart and kind. An inspiring writer.