Literary Women

Books about women who have shaped our literary landscape.
Updated September 19, 2022
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The unabridged journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962
Plath, Sylvia
The complete, uncensored journals of Sylvia Plath--essential reading for anyone who has been moved and fascinated by the poet's life and work. "A genuine literary event.... Plath's journals contain marvels of discovery." --The New York Times Book Review  ...
An autobiography
Christie, Agatha
Savage beauty : the life of Edna St. Vincent Millay
Milford, Nancy.
Thirty years after the smashing success ofZelda, Nancy Milford returns with a stunning second act.Savage Beautyis the portrait of a passionate, fearless woman who obsessed American ever as she tormented herself. If F. Scott Fitzgerald was the hero of the Jazz Age, Edna St. Vincent Millay, as...
Blue nights
Didion, Joan.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter, from the bestselling, award-winning author of The Year of Magical Thinking and Let Me Tell You What I Mean Richly textured with memories from her own childhood and married...
A Writer's Diary
Virginia Woolf
In her journals and writing exercises, this novelist "comes to us with all the brilliance, perceptiveness, and restraint we could wish" (Kirkus Reviews). From 1918 to 1941, even as she penned masterpiece upon masterpiece, Virginia Woolf kept a diary. She poured into...
Elegy for Iris
Bayley, John
A moving memoir by the husband of the great contemporary writer Dame Iris Murdoch captures the ineffable mystery and fascination that she has exerted on both him and her readers and chronicles her recent sad struggle with Alzheimer's disease. 25,000 first printing. First serial, The New Yorker.
Mockingbird : a portrait of Harper Lee
Shields, Charles J.
The colorful life of the remarkable woman who created To Kill a Mockingbird - the classic that became a touchstone for generations of Americans To Kill a Mockingbird, the twentieth-century's most widely read American novel, has sold thirty million copies and still sells a million...
Prairie fires : the American dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
Fraser, Caroline
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR The first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the beloved author of the...
The Bront©±s
Barker, Juliet R. V.
A definitive history of this fascinating literary family written by a Bronte scholar and former curator and librarian at the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Barker's hefty opus integrates newly-discovered manuscripts and letters from every member of the family as well as fine photographs and reproductions...
Anne Sexton : a biography
Middlebrook, Diane Wood
Anne Sexton began writing poetry at the age of twenty-nine to keep from killing herself. She held on to language for dear life and somehow -- in spite of alcoholism and the mental illness that ultimately led her to suicide -- managed to create a body of work that won a Pulitzer Prize and that still...
Romantic outlaws : the extraordinary lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley
Gordon, Charlotte.
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE SEATTLE TIMES This groundbreaking dual biography brings to life a pioneering English feminist and the daughter she never knew. Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley have each been the...
Edith Wharton
Lee, Hermione.
Delving into heretofore untapped sources, the author of the acclaimed masterpiece Virginia Woolf brilliantly interweaves Edith Wharton's life with the evolution of her writing, the full scope of which shows her to be far more daring than her stereotype as lapidarian chronicler of the Gilded Age.
Shirley Jackson : a rather haunted life
Franklin, Ruth
Instantly heralded for its "masterful" and "thrilling" portrayal (Boston Globe), Shirley Jackson reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the literary genius behind such classics as "The Lottery" and The Haunting of Hill House. In this "remarkable act of reclamation" (Neil...
Margaret Fuller : a new American life
Marshall, Megan.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography   From an early age, Margaret Fuller provoked and dazzled New England's intellectual elite. Her famous Conversations changed women's sense of how they could think and live; her editorship of the Transcendentalist literary...
The soul of a woman rebel girls, impatient love, and long life
Allende, Isabel
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Long Petal of the Sea comes "a bold exploration of womanhood, feminism, parenting, aging, love and more" (Associated Press). "The Soul of a Woman is Isabel Allende's most liberating book yet."--Elle
Reading Jackie : her autobiography in books
Kuhn, William M.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis never wrote a memoir, but she told her life story and revealed herself in intimate ways through the nearly 100 books she brought into print during the last two decades of her life as an editor at Viking and Doubleday. Based on archives and interviews with Jackie's...
A secret sisterhood : the literary friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bront©±, George Eliot & Virginia Woolf
Midorikawa, Emily
Male literary friendships are the stuff of legend; think Byron and Shelley, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. But the world's best-loved female authors are usually mythologized as solitary eccentrics or isolated geniuses. Coauthors and real-life friends Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney prove...
The invention of Angela Carter : a biography
Gordon, Edmund
Angela Carter is widely considered one of the best loved and most highly acclaimed English writers of the last hundred years. She was prolific and inventive, producing an astounding range of innovative novels, short stories, screenplays, and essays that won her the admiration and respect ofreaders...

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