We have heard of many inspiring and powerful women in the history of mankind and the journey has continued to create many iconic women further. Some have fought against the oppressors, some against the patriarchal beliefs and for equality. Today, we see women taking things in their stride, confident, independent, running companies, leading ministries etc. Much ahead of Women’s Day 2022 and to celebrate it, let’s check on some of the inspiring women authors that you don’t want to miss reading their works.
Jane Austen (December 16, 1775- July 18, 1817)
Jane Austen was an English novelist and one of the most famous writers in English literature. Her books are read and appreciated all over the world and even adapted movies, TV shows, theatre etc. She wrote 6 full novels- Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Her novels clearly show she was a literary genius, she created realistic complex characters in her novels. she had a comic sense with a satirical touch and wit. Her stories may seem mostly engaged with romance, flirting, affairs and marriages but it didn’t fail to tickle our minds with gender relations, power, money, education etc. from women’s perspective. We also cannot deny the fact that she was an early feminist as she made remarks on the status & conditions of women through her stories. At the time she was writing, women had little access to formal education, they had few legal, social or economic rights.
Virginia Woolf ( January 25, 1882- March 28, 1941)
Virginia Woolf is often regarded as one of the greatest writers in history. She articulated the ephemeral character of subjective perception. Virginia Woolf contributed to the reshaping of the world around her by allowing outsiders entrance to an isolated artistic realm. Her writings, talks, and public appearances affected the shift in society toward inclusion, diversity, and equality. For good reason, her novels such as Mrs Dalloway and To The Lighthouse have become household names and classics. Her unique style of storytelling was groundbreaking, and her novels tackled crucial issues including war, psychological problems, feminism, and homosexuality. She was the very first woman to encourage individualization to the population of women, as well as one of the first to produce feminist literature for women. Virginia endured two significant emotional breakdowns within her lifespan, one of which she would die from.
Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928- May 28, 2014)
Maya Angelou was an American author, poet, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. She is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, her first- I Know Why The Caged Birds Sings got nominated for national book award and also made literary history as the first non-fiction bestseller by an African American woman. Through the book, she tells the truth about the lives of black women, how she coped within the context of a larger white society. Her work is used for empowering and giving voice to the African American community. Maya Angelou has authored more than 30 books, received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.
Toni Morrison (February 18, 1931- August 5, 2019)
Toni Morrison was an American novelist and the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She wrote 11 novels, children’s books and essay collections, among which “Song of Solomon” received the National Book Critics Circle Award 1977 and “Beloved” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. Her other works include The Bluest Eye, Tar Baby, Love, A Mercy etc. Toni Morrison’s novels published in the late 20th century were a great contribution to the development of Black feminist ideologies and Black women’s literature however she did not identify her work as feminist. Her novels reflect the problems within the African American community, issues of racism between black and white Americans or global racism and power dynamics between men & women, to which she said,” I don’t subscribe to patriarchy and I don’t think it should be substituted with matriarchy. I think it’s a question of equitable access, and opening doors to all sorts of things” Her works surely showcase the dark side of humanity but convey integrity & redemption at the same time.
J.K. Rowling (July 31, 1965)
J.K. Rowling is a British author, philanthropist, film producer and screenwriter. Her best selling Harry Potter series have been sold more than 500 million copies and have been adapted to screen in a series of blockbuster films. She even became a multimillionaire in a period of just 5 years and is titled “The Most Influential Woman in Britain, 2010 by leading magazine editors. She has spent most of her money on charities. Her series led all to the magical world but didn’t fail to touch everyone’s hearts with a sense of love, acceptance and courage. She provided a hero for every child to count on, to believe & hope for the right thing. She also writes crime fiction under the pen name Robert Galbraith. She is very much opinionated and has voiced her views on UK politics, against Brexit and Scottish Independence.
We believe, you have read some of the works by these influential women authors, if not, go grab some for you sure are missing out on some good reads.