Selected Works by Women Writers: A Recommended Reading List

In honor of International Women’s Day, the board has put together a list of works written by women that we feel people should be reading more. Enjoy!

Gertrude Stein – Melanctha

“Stein wrote ‘Melanctha’ in an immensely innovative style that removes narrative authority and places plot firmly in present tense. The novel rejected the conventional spectator theory of knowledge and its detached, omniscient voice. Though Tender Buttons is more widely read, ‘Melanctha’ is no less brilliant.” Recommended by Manu Amin

Louise Glück – “Dead End”

“’Staying was my way of hitting back’ is an amazing line, and Glück really knows how to make intimate moments bite.” Recommended by Ryan Daar

Miriam Toews – All My Puny Sorrows

“She’s a Canadian writer who writes about grief and depression in a really sincere, honest, complicated way that has always attracted me. She is also an ex Mennonite which fascinates me!” Recommended by Maddie Woda

Dorothea Lasky – “Ars Poetica

Elizabeth Willis – “September 9

Ali Power, “My Friends

Robyn Schiff – “A Doe Replaces Iphigenia on the Sacrificial Altar

Lucie Brock-Broido – “Domestic Mysticism

Mary Hickman – “Eva Hesse

Jane Huffman – “Failed Sestina

Yaa Gyasi – Homegoing

“To explain the deep magic of these works would be blasphemous, especially on International Women’s Day. These transcendent works speak for themselves.” Recommended by David Ehmcke

Betty Smith – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

“Not only is it beautiful in its construction, but there’s something that every reader can see in Francie that makes everything that happens so personal.” Recommended by Cassidy Sattler

Margaret Atwood – “Crow Song

Recommended by Evan Mortimer

Irina Ratushinskaya – Grey is the Color of Hope

“In the 1980s, the Soviet Union imprisoned Ratushinskaya for her poetry. This is the story of how she and those around her—especially her fellow female prisoners of conscience—survived that brutal imprisonment and resisted the state from the place where it sought to have the most control over them. Her memoir is not only a valuable historical document but also a beautiful expression of human strength and solidarity in the face of oppression.” Recommended by Clare Jamieson