Ten Inspirational Women Writers

It's International Woman's Day, a time to celebrate women and how hard we've worked and continue to work towards equality for each of us.

Back in the good old days, girls weren't taught to read and write, men didn't think we should bother our silly little heads with it. Particularly, if you came from a poorer background.

Nowadays women have an equal right to the same education as men in the UK, unfortunately, this is still not the case in many third world countries.

There is still a lot to be done all over the world to ensure equality for women, and one way is for us to write down what we think, what we feel and express ourselves. Which is why writing is so important.

I can't imagine not being able to read or write. I can't remember learning to read, it was something I always did, similarly, I was always writing stories.

There is a family story my parents loved to tell about me when I was about four. They were busy decorating one of the rooms in the house, so I was off doing my own thing, which was writing. Apparently, I wondered in and innocently looked at my parents and asked,

            'How do you spell kill?'

If my kids had asked me that at the same age I would have been horrified, but my parents just told me how to spell it and carried on. I have no memory of this or what the story was about, but I am sure it was em... interesting.

What this story tells you, is that I was lucky to have parents who encouraged my creativity, which was very lovely.

I wonder how many of the authors I'm going to mention today had the same support? Probably not all of them.

Anyway to the point of this, on International Women's Day, I thought it would be nice to list a number of women authors I have found inspiring. Some are recent finds, other's are older.

A pile of my books on the floor. I'm not the neatest!

  1. Margaret Atwood - In the 1980s and 90s, I consumed her novels. How she imagines so many different stories impresses me. I have been watching The Handmaids Tale recently, and have pre-ordered the paperback of Testaments (Sssh tell me nothing, no spoilers please). But I don't really remember any of them properly as it was so long ago, so I can just re-read them all. 
  2. Ali Smith - I have read two of the four of her season's books, I think I have probably read them out of order because I started with Winter and then read Autumn. The first one, I read it and found it so very odd that I thought I didn't like it, but it stayed with me and rolled about in my head, so I read the next one, which was less odd but so beautifully written it's ridiculous. 
  3. Fonda Lee - Jade City and Jade War are part of a Trilogy of realist fantasy books. Set on a small island, certain people are born able to hold Jade. The Jade gives them certain powers (imagine the martial arts films where people fly during fights - it's like that). If these aren't made into films there is something wrong with the world. Lee has created a world, very similar to this, with corporate infighting, plus the influences of  Yakuza/Mafia style families and Jade powers. 
  4. Patricia Lockwood - She is primarily a poet but has recently written an autobiography (that reads like fiction) called PriestDaddy. I would recommend both, her poetry and her novel. You may have read Rape Joke when it went viral a few years ago. Her poetry is like nothing I have read before, brutally honest, throwing a mirror at the darkest parts of the world, with some humour thrown in as well. Her book is similar. 
  5. Candice Carty-Williams - I have just finished reading Queenie, which is her first novel. She is a columnist by trade and created the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Short Story Prize. The novel is very current, shining a light on abuse and the long term issues that this can create, whilst focussing on Jamaican attitudes to mental health. I hope she writes some more, it's really impressing. 
  6. Oyinkan Braithwaite - This is another debut novelist whose, My Sister the Serial Killer, really struck home, it is written in short conversational chapters, and the horror of what her sister is doing is played down as it is actually about family dynamics. Another one where I am looking forward to seeing what comes next. 
  7. Sayaka Murata - Convenience Store Woman was a massive success for Murata. It is a book you could read in one sitting. There is a simplicity to it that is beautiful, it paints a picture of a simple life, with simple patterns. But when those patterns change it is disruptive. 
  8. Maya Angelou - I don't think I need to say anything here. If you haven't read anything of hers, then do. That is all.
  9. Rachel Cusk - This one is a bit more tricky, she is a tough read, with paragraphs that last pages and a super maximalist style, but beyond that, there are glints and shimmers of gorgeous writing that you can't help but love, she is definitely not for everyone but if you want to imagine a beautiful island or a hot sea read Outline and she will take you there. 
  10. Liz Lockhead - She is another poet, I first read her collection of poems, Dreaming Frankenstein, in the 1980s at college. She influenced how I thought of poetry and made me realise you can say anything when you write. If you haven't read her, I would definitely recommend her. 
Well, that's it, I'm sure I have loads more I could recommend, but that's enough for now.

If you like this, please like and share. Thanks.


Popular Posts