List Thursday! “The 25 Best Women Writers, In My Opinion”

“The 25 Best Women Writers, In My Opinion”: The list ins’t in any real particular order, mostly they are in the order I thought of them and then some were rearranged because (I’m neurotic) I can’t have two in a row that start with the same letter. Enjoy!

1)     Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
2)     Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
3)     Joan Didion (Play it as it Lays)
4)     Monica Ali (Brick Lane)
5)     Amy Hempel (Tumble Home)
6)     Marilynne Robinson (Housekeeping)
7)     Nicole Krauss (Man Walks Into A Room)
8)     Patricia Lear (Stardust, 7-Eleven, Route 57, A&W, and So Forth)
9)     Maxine Hong Kingston (The Woman Warrior)
10)   Catherine Texier (Victorine)
11)   A. S. Byatt (The Children’s Book)
12)   Debra Marquart (The Horizontal World)
13)   Mary Karr (The Liar’s Club)
14)   Ann Beattie (Chilly Scenes of Winter)
15)   Karen Russell (St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves)
16)   Anis Nin (Delta of Venus)
17)   Z. Z. Packer (Drinking Coffee Elsewhere)
18)   Harper Lee (To Kill A Mockingbird)
19)   Miranda July (No One Belongs Here More Than You)
20)   Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum (Ms. Hempel Chronicles)
21)   Rivka Galchen (Atmospheric Disturbances)
22)   Lily Tuck (The News from Paraguay)
23)   C. E. Morgan (All the Living)
24)   Nell Freudenberger (The Dissident)
25)   Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun)

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3 thoughts on “List Thursday! “The 25 Best Women Writers, In My Opinion”

  1. Brandie says:

    I think you missed a few … 😉 That being said, I love your inclusions of 2, 3, 9 (Tripmaster Monkey!!), 16 (Anais), and 18.

    My list would add:
    Margaret Atwood (I’m one of those who adore Handmaid’s Tale)

    Madeleine L’Engle (I know she’s technically kiddie lit, but it’s damn good kiddie lit)

    Ursula K. Le Guin (hello, Left Hand of Darkness, my old friend)

    Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit are phenomenal)

    Emily Bronte (I will defend Wuthering Heights as superior to Jane Eyre to my dying day)

    Sandra Cisneros (love her!)

    Joshilyn Jackson (modern Southern lit with soul)

    Gloria Naylor (Mama Day is Ahh-mazing)

    Flannery O’Connor (the queen!)

    Eudora Welty (the other queen!)

    Zora Neale Hurston (every time I read Their Eyes Were Watching God, I realize anew how much of a genius writer Hurston truly was)

    Isabel Allende (for House of the Spirits alone)

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Herland is one of my favorites, ever)

    Ana Castillo (So Far From God!)

    Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina is a triumph)

    Jean Rhys (Wide Sargasso Sea made me kind of appreciate Jane Eyre for the first time)

    Katherine Anne Porter (Pale Horse, Pale Rider!)

    Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things rocks my world)

    Naomi Shihab Nye (I had to include some verse, and she is my absolute favorite current poet)

    And I know you’ll probably laugh at me, but I would throw J.K. Rowling on the bottom of that list. She’s an over-hyped phenomenon, but damn, those books are engrossing. I love her sense of timing and characterization and the way she pulls the strings of her plot together in (what I thought was) a satisfying conclusion.

    Getting to 25 is hard; how do you do this every week?!?!?! 😀

  2. joemowens says:

    Actually, I meant to include Flannery (Wise Blood)! Totally agree with J. K. Rowling. Atwood is another I probably should’ve included as well as Alice Munro. It’s definitely hard to get everyone but my hope was to include kind of a range from canonical to contemporary. Glad you dug it!

  3. […] The 25 Best Women Writers, In Joe’s Opinion 10/14/2010 (NOTE: I list that this is Joe’s opinion only because he does.  Frankly, it is also […]

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