Female writers? Sounds like a category that shouldn’t exist separately in the current times yet, unfortunately, it does. The world remains unacquainted with some of the most awe-inspiring works by female writers which remain shaded by the prominent works of male writers in the highly gendered oeuvre of literature. Here are five books by celebrated female writers that are a must-read to see the world from a new light, a perspective that goes deliberately unnoticed but is equally important to have an understanding of the lived realities of people.
1. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
The strength of the name reflects in this work by one of the first feminists, Mary Wollstonecraft. It talks of how women are not naturally inferior to men but purposefully made so by society. It is a call to arms for equal rights of women and opportunities to be given for education. A text that served to thwart the existing stereotypes in a time of extreme patriarchy, it continues to be a source of motivation for women all over the world even today, initiating them to the rights they should have.
Written by the phenomenal Toni Morrison, Beloved is a novel that doesn’t mince words and represents reality as is through exquisitely written characters. A female narrative of racism, it shows a nuanced understanding of the barbarity of the treatments of slaves from the perspective of a woman – a perspective seldom found, even in black circles. Blending magical realism with blunt reality, she creates a work that will leave you reeling.
3. Amar Jiban
‘My Life’ is an appropriation of the Bengali title of this novel, a work by Rashsundari Debi. It is an honest autobiographical work defining the contours within which lives of women in India function. The trajectory followed in Amar Jiban is at once an engaging read and a lesson in how women fall prey to the phallocentric view that is the conventional outlook of life. The novel serves to undercut patriarchy by giving individuality and subjectivity to the experiences of a woman.
Written by the staunch feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, it takes the reader on a ride of love and regrets tracing the life of a Nigerian woman as she immigrates to the United States. It is an exemplary work of the African diaspora in the US showcasing their reality in a beautifully written way, leaving you gushing over the writer. It is a courageous tale of community and individual integrating to create a new identity.
5. To the Lighthouse
Written by the revered Virginia Woolf, this novel appreciates the small moments of life and although outwardly simple, it has within it a world of treasure. All these moments together contribute to the life of the characters making the novel a big canvas painted with beautiful incidents all joining together to become one.
If these are books you have already read or do not catch your eye, we have many more such recommendations on our website here.