Literary Women

Books about women who have shaped our literary landscape.
Updated September 19, 2022
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Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
Simone de Beauvoir
An Autobiography
Agatha Christie
Back in print in an all-new edition, is the engaging and illuminating chronicle of the life of the "Queen of Mystery." Fans of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple and readers of John Curran's fascinating biographies Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks and Murder in the Making will be spellbound by...
Jane Austen: A Life
Claire Tomalin
At her death in 1817, Jane Austen left the world six of the most beloved novels written in English--but her shortsighted family destroyed the bulk of her letters; and if she kept any diaries, they did not survive her.  Now acclaimed biographer Claire Tomalin, author of A Life of My Own<...
Blue Nights
Joan Didion
From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts...
Zelda: A Biography
Nancy Milford
"Profound, overwhelmingly moving . . . a richly complex love story." -- New York Times Acclaimed biographer Nancy Milford brings to life the tormented, elusive personality of Zelda Sayre and clarifies as never before Zelda's relationship with her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald-...
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...
Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee
Charles J. Shields
Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
Caroline Fraser
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...
Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley
Charlotte Gordon
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...
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
Ruth Franklin
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...
My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson
Alfred Habegger
Emily Dickinson, probably the most loved and certainly the greatest of American poets, continues to be seen as the most elusive. One reason she has become a timeless icon of mystery for many readers is that her developmental phases have not been clarified. In this exhaustively researched biography,...
Margaret Fuller: A New American Life
Megan Marshall
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
Isabel Allende
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
William Kuhn
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 at Doubleday. Based on archives and interviews with Jackie's...
A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf
Emily Midorikawa
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
Edmund Gordon
Widely acknowledged as one of the most important English writers of the last century, Angela Carter's work stands out for its bawdiness and linguistic zest, its hospitality to the fantastical and the absurd, and its extraordinary inventiveness and range. Her life was as vigorously...
The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym
Paula Byrne
'Captures both Barbara and her writing so miraculously' JILLY COOPER Picked as a Book to Look Forward to in 2021 by the Guardian, The Times and the Observer A Radio 4 Book of the Week, April 2021 Barbara Pym became beloved as one of...

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