Powell’s Books recommends 25 women to read before you die

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The staff at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, one of the country’s (and the world’s!) best bookstores, have compiled a list of 25 women writers you need to read. I haven’t read all of these writers myself, but I can certainly vouch for many of them being worth your valuable reading time (Adichie, Armstrong, Atwood, Didion, Erdrich, Hempel, Solnit, Tartt).

As if you didn’t already have enough to read, here are 25 authors who have published well over a hundred books among them.

You can read the full article here.

As with any such list, the results are at least partially random (there should be little dispute about the inclusion of writers like George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, and Louise Erdrich). Just off the top of my head, I would add Jane Austen, Alice Munro, Jane Smiley, Elena Ferrante, Ali Smith, Jhumpa Lahiri, Lauren Groff, and Karen Russell. Every such list is guaranteed to be a very personal set of preferences.

Who do you think should be on this list? Reply in the Comments below. 



  1. I’ve read shockingly few authors from this list, which is weird because I think i read a fair number of women (more than 50%). It also seemed like a rather bland list to me. Very white, although some writers of color did make the list. But is was very much the usual suspects. For variety sake, I’d add in Zadie Smith, Isabel Allende and Jhumpa Lahiri (like you). And those are just off the top of my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I forgot Smith. I would also add Roxane Gay, Tiphanie Yanique, Mia Alvar, Cristina Henriquez, Amina Gautier…I could go on a long time. So many good writers these days!


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