If you have noticed that your list of works read-only has male writers, it is time to explore the literature written by women as well.
After all, the list of books by authors is immense.
In addition, you have the opportunity to understand the role that is assigned to women in society, encourage gender equality in the publishing market and discover incredible works. In addition to enjoying all the benefits of reading.
So, how about giving more space to women on your bookshelf?
Discover our tips and good reading! 📚
16 Books by women authors to read in 2021
Let’s go to the list? Check out the following 16 options of books by women authors to read this year:
1. Other ways of using your mouth – Rupi Kaur
If you like contemporary poetry , you will like Other ways of using your mouth, a sales success in the publishing market.
The book features short poetry and drawings made by the author herself that portray common feelings among women, trauma and overcoming in a sensitive but impactful way.
2. O barnyard account – Margaret Atwood
Do you enjoy dystopias ? So The Maid’s Tale is a great choice, even if you’ve already watched the series of the same name.
In this work, Canadian Margaret Atwood imagines a society in which women have lost all their rights due to a totalitarian fundamentalist Christian regime.
It is a book that allows us to reflect on the role that is assigned to women in society and to understand the dangers of authoritarianism.
3. And there is none left – Agatha Christie
And there is none left, by Agatha Christie, it is the type of book that you will not be able to drop until you reach the last page.
Known as the queen of crime , the author explores here a story of murder that takes place on an island occupied by few people. The ending, as in all of the writer’s books, is surprising.
4. Who is afraid of black feminism? – Djamila Ribeiro
If your favorite style is non-fiction books, the work of Brazilian philosopher Djamila Ribeiro should be included in your list.
In Who’s Afraid of Black Feminism ?, the author addresses themes such as the role of black women in society, the place of speech, racism and the feminist movement.
The work brings together a series of small texts published by her over the years and helps the reader to reflect on essential themes in an accessible language.
5. The lying life of adults – Elena Ferrante
Launching phenomenon in 2020, The lying life of adults tells the story of Giovanna, a girl who embarks on a journey to meet an aunt hated by her parents.
While the reading is light, its plot addresses the complexity of the relationships and the psychology of the characters.
In fact, this is a strong mark of the Italian books, which keeps her identity protected under the pseudonym of Elena Ferrante and is also the author of the Neapolitan tetralogy .
6. Frankeinstein – Mary Shelley
Did you know that Frankenstein’s iconic figure was created by a woman?
Mary Shelley was the 19th century English writer responsible for bringing to life one of the most feared figures to date.
But make no mistake: the work is very different from Hollywood films and, in addition to telling a horror story, it still has philosophical touches.
7. Pride and prejudice – Jane Austen
Pride and prejudice is another English work that has become classic. It is not for nothing that the book was adapted for the work of the same name on cinema screens.
In the novel, Jane Austen makes a shrewd critique of 19th century society , questioning the social order of marriage for women in an ironic and thought-provoking way.
8. Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
If you like to venture into different writing styles, Mrs Dalloway is an excellent choice.
In the book, you will accompany a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a middle-aged English woman who goes out to buy flowers for a party that she is going to give at night. The simple premise reveals a rich and innovative storyline.
The main highlight is the flow of consciousness technique , in which the reader closely follows the complexity of the characters’ thoughts.
9. Storage room – Carolina Maria de Jesus
In Quarto de evpejo, you will be surprised by the story of Carolina Maria de Jesus, a black woman who was a garbage collector who lived in a favela in São Paulo.
The work gathers the author’s diaries, which talks about poverty, violence and hunger in a simple but powerful way. Currently, the writer’s work is being rediscovered in Brazil.
10. The last witnesses – Svetlana Aleksiévitch
In this book, Belarusian writer Svetlana tells stories of women and men who were children during World War II.
The work contains a compilation of short reports in which the interviewees reflect on their past experiences.
Svetlana is the author of works such as The War has no woman’s face and Voices of Chernobyl.
11. Grange Copeland’s third life – Alice Walker
This was the first novel written by Alice Walker, author of the classic The color purple.
The narrative tells the story of Grange Copeland, a black worker exploited by the white boss on a farm in Georgia, United States, in the post-civil war setting.
Plagued by violence, Copeland leaves his family and goes to the north of the country in search of a dignified life.
12. My story – Michelle Obama
Did you know that the President of the United States has to pay for food for meals at the White House?
This is just one of the curiosities that the ex-first lady of the United States tells in My Story.
But the narrative goes further. In this autobiography , you will discover from Michelle’s childhood to the age of 8 that she spent in the White House with Barack Obama and his daughters.
13. A vegetarian – Han Kang
Want to read an unconventional story? In A vegetarian, you will meet Yeonghye, a woman who decides to stop eating meat after having disturbing dreams.
But her family does not accept the decision and the protagonist must deal with physical and psychological abuse . The South Korean writer’s work is electrifying from beginning to end.
14. No seu pescoço – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Another indication is the book of short stories In your neck, by the famous writer around the world Chimamanda Adichie.
In the collection’s stories, the Nigerian addresses issues such as gender, religion, racism and immigration from a fluid and thought-provoking narrative.
15. Watermelon – Marian Keyes
Finally, if you prefer light and fun stories , you will certainly like the classic Watermelon, by Marian Keyes.
In this book, Claire Walsh is a successful woman married to a charming companion.
But that only lasts until the birth of her daughter, when the husband announces an affair with the neighbor and leaves the woman alone. So, Claire face her new reality.
16. The house of the spirits – Isabel Allende
Chilean Isabel Allende takes the title of the most widely read Spanish-speaking living writer in the world.
One of his main successes, The House of the Spirits narrates the dramas of a Latin American family for three generations.
The background is an unnamed country, but we know that the author is talking about Chile and the period of military coup that deposed then president Salvador Allende, of whom he was a relative. Therefore, the book is also a history lesson.
After all, why read books by authors?
Reading books by authors is something that every reader should do.
Writers’ works make it possible to reflect on gender equality , to know the reality of women in society and, of course, to explore new stories.
In addition, reading allows to encourage the publishing market for women and allow them to be well paid for writing.
After all, the market is still uneven between women and men.
It is enough to remember that, in Brazil, 72% of the published authors are men, according to data published in the book Contemporary Brazilian Literature – Um contested territory , by researcher Regina Dalcastagné.
Why does it happen?
To understand, it is necessary to recover a little bit of history : women have been deprived of writing for a long time.
Well, writing was not considered a female activity.
It is no wonder that great writers used male pseudonyms to publish their works.
This is the case of the Brontë sisters, authors of 19th century classics such as The Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Agnes Gray. To publish their first novels, for example, the authors had to use the Bell brothers’ pseudonym.
The fact is that today, despite many advances being made, reading books by authors remains important for gender equality.