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Updated by Natasha Hervatta on Mar 03, 2015
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Best Female Writers Of All Time

8th March is celebrated universally as International Women's Day - a day where the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political, and social achievements. Here's a list that celebrates literary achievements by women....

1

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE (née Miller; 15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976) was an English crime novelist, short story writer, and playwright. She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best known for the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections she wrote under her own name, most of which revolve around the investigations of such characters as Hercule Poirot, Jane Marple, Parker Pyne, Harley Quin/Mr Satterthwaite, and Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. She wrote the world's longest-running play, The Mousetrap.

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2

Alice Munro

Alice Munro

Alice Ann Munro (née Laidlaw, born 10 July 1931) is a Canadian author. Munro's work has been described as having revolutionized the architecture of short stories, especially in its tendency to move forward and backward in time. Her stories have been said to "embed more than announce, reveal more than parade."

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3

Alice Walker

Alice Walker

Alice Malsenior Walker (born February 9, 1944) is an American author and activist. She wrote the critically acclaimed novel The Color Purple (1982) for which she won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She also wrote Meridian and The Third Life of Grange Copeland among other works.

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4

Audrey Niffenegger

Audrey Niffenegger

Audrey Niffenegger (born June 13, 1963) is an American writer, artist and academic. Niffenegger's debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, was published in 2003. She is also known for Her Fearful Symmetry, The Three Incestuous Sisters, and The Adventuress.

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5

Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand (born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum; February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982) was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism.

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6

Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels have become classics of English literature. She first published her works (including her best known novel, Jane Eyre) under the pen name Currer Bell.

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7

Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel

Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel (born August 14, 1947), better known by the name Danielle Steel, is an American novelist, currently the best selling author alive and the fourth bestselling author of all time, with over 800 million copies sold.

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8

Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt (born December 23, 1963) is an American writer and author of the novels The Secret History (1992), The Little Friend (2002), and The Goldfinch (2013). Tartt won the WH Smith Literary Award for The Little Friend in 2003 and the Pulitzer Prize (Fiction) for The Goldfinch in 2014 and she was named to the TIME 100: The 100 Most Influential People in 2014.

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9

Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (born Edith Newbold Jones; January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927, 1928 and 1930. Wharton combined her insider's view of America's privileged classes with a brilliant, natural wit to write humorous, incisive novels and short stories of social and psychological insight.

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10

Harper Lee

Harper Lee

Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926) is an American novelist widely known for her 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird which deals with the racism she observed as a child in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. In February 2015 at age 88, nearly blind and deaf after a 2007 stroke, and after a lifetime of maintaining that she would never publish another novel, a statement was issued through her attorney that Lee would publish a second novel, Go Set a Watchman (set to be published on July 14, 2015), written before To Kill a Mockingbird.

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11

J.K.Rowling

J.K.Rowling

Joanne "Jo" Rowling, ( born 31 July 1965), pen names J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith, is a British novelist best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. Rowling has led a "rags to riches" life story, in which she progressed from living on state benefits to multi-millionaire status within five years. She is the United Kingdom's best-selling living author, with sales in excess of £238m. She has supported charities including Comic Relief, One Parent Families, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Lumos (formerly the Children's High Level Group), and in politics supports the Labour Party and Better Together.

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12

Jane Austen

Jane Austen

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary as well as her acclaimed plots have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.

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13

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist best known as author of the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Raised by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May and Amos Bronson Alcott in New England, she grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau.

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14

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Eleanor Atwood, (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, winning once, and has been a finalist for the Governor General's Award several times, winning twice. Atwood is also the inventor, and developer, of the LongPen and associated technologies that facilitate the remote robotic writing of documents.

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15

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (née Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

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16

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American author, poet, dancer, actress, and singer. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

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17

Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts (born Eleanor Marie Robertson on October 10, 1950) is an American bestselling author of more than 209 romance novels. She writes as J. D. Robb for the in Death series, and has also written under the pseudonyms Jill March and for publications in the U.K. as Sarah Hardesty. Nora Roberts was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. As of 2011, her novels had spent a combined 861 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, including 176 weeks in the number-one spot.

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18

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer.Plath suffered from depression for much of her adult life, and in 1963 she committed suicide. Controversy continues to surround the events of her life and death, as well as her writing and legacy. Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two published collections, The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel. In 1982, she won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for The Collected Poems. She also wrote The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death.

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19

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

Adeline Virginia Woolf (née Stephen; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English writer and one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own (1929), with its famous dictum, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Woolf suffered from severe bouts of mental illness throughout her life, thought to have been the result of what is now termed bipolar disorder, and committed suicide by drowning in 1941 at the age of 59.

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20

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith FRSL (born on 25 October 1975) is an English novelist, essayist, and short story writer. As of 2012, she has published four novels, all of which have received substantial critical praise. In 2003, she was included on Granta's list of 20 best young authors, and was also included in the 2013 list. Smith has won the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield- Wolf Book Awards in 2006 and her novel White Teeth was included in Time magazine's TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005 list.

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