For those of you who haven’t heard, this week is the mid-February holiday dedicated to ladies celebrating their lady friends. Their galentines, if you will.
I wanted to celebrate Galentine’s Day this year by honoring some of the lady writers who’ve given us so much amazing literature over the years. While I have my own favorites, I’m also aware that my list is limited by the sheer number of books I haven’t read, by authors I’ve never heard of. So I reached out to my own girlfriends–some of the smartest people I know–to help me put together this list of real, strong women authors from all sorts of times and places and genres. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
I present to you, our literary galentines:
Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie
“We all need this boss feminist in our lives.” – Anna
“The ultimate galentine of my youth.” – Kelsey
You know her from: high school English class. Special shoutout to Jane Eyre
You know her from: Room, a bestselling about 5-year-old Jack, who has never left the room he shares with his mother.
You know her from: her series of 4 Neapolitan Novels, beginning with My Brilliant Friend.
Mary Beth Keane
You know her from: the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” list and her novel, Fever, about Typhoid Mary.
You know her from: The Poisonwood Bible, The Bean Trees, and 10 other novels and poetry and essay collections.
You know her from: actually, you might not. I didn’t, but now that I do, I can’t wait to read her. Lispector was a Brazilian author, considered the most important Jewish writer since Franz Kafka. She was also, according to The New Yorker, very glamourous.
You know her from: her hilarious and true feminist manifestos, How to Build a Girland How to Be a Woman, and her recently released essay collection, Moranifesto. If you’re unfamiliar, check out this Fresh Air piece from summer 2012.
You know her from: probably My Sister’s Keeper, or any of her 22 other novels, all praised for their true to life characters. Jodi Picoult is one of those authors with the power to write a book that is equal parts heartbreaking and feelgood. Also, little known fact, she’s written 5 issues of Wonder Woman for DC Comics.
You know her from: her memoir, Wild, about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (or, at least, the movie version Reese Witherspoon released last year). You may also be familiar with her Rumpus advice column, “Dear Sugar” and the WBUR podcast it spawned.
Thanks to all my galentines for helping me make this list. I’m seriously amazed at the depth and breadth of amazing lady authors you all came up with.
What about you? Who’s your literary galentine?
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means if you click through one of the Amazon links above, and then buy the book (or anything else on Amazon) I get a small cut of your purchase. These funds help me pay to keep my website up and running so I can continue helping authors tell their best stories.