Here are 13 essential works (according to Literary Ladies’ Guide1) of classic feminist fiction. Some of the books listed here were considered daring (and sometimes shocking) in their time. The courage and foresight of these creators granted the women who came after them the freedom to speak their truths and more readily see them in print.
These timeless classics have proven foundational for contemporary feminist novels. From Jane Eyre (1847), Charlotte Brontë’s gothic romance, through Octavia Butler’s Afro-futurist Parable of the Talents (1998), the books listed here feature heroines who continue to inspire and surprise.
Following is a listing (alphabetically, by last name) of classic women authors’ biographies currently on this site. Please note that this site lists only women authors who are deceased. These are the women authors whose shoulders today’s writers stand on!
We’re continually adding authors to the site; you’ll find many more we haven’t yet posted on our wish list, which also details writer’s guidelines for those who may want to contribute biographies, or any other great content relating to classic women authors. Read More→
Here, we’ll take a look at 12 classic women novelists who whose books deserve to be read and enjoyed just today as much as they were in their time.
On the subject of classic women novelists worth rediscovering, we could make the argument that ninety percent of the authors on this site are ripe for rediscovery. Sadly, though, there are quite a number of women who were once widely read but have fallen under the literary radar.
Some of the authors highlighted on this still read and considered, even if only in the academic realm of women’s studies and English classes. These include Zora Neale Hurston who was indeed rediscovered after falling into obscurity, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, whose story The Yellow Wallpaper is an iconic work of feminist literature. Read More→
If you’d like a taste of a classic author’s work but don’t have the time or patience to read a tome, consider the novella form. Here we’ll look at novellas by classic women authors that make great introductions to to their work.
What defines a novella? It’s generally based on word count of between 17,000 and 40,000, though it isn’t always so cut and dry. The Awakening by Kate Chopin is often described as a novella, though as far as word count, it’s slightly outside that parameter. Read More→
Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë might be linked by their early 19th-century British backgrounds and legions of devotees. They had some similarities in their backgrounds and paths to publication, yet many differences. This isn’t a Jane Austen vs Charlotte Brontë competition; they were both brilliant writers!
Perhaps they’re often compared because they were among the group of British women writers who made an immense contribution to literature in the first part of the 1800s. Read More→