Happy International Women’s Day! Today is meant to celebrate the achievements of women around the world. Like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, I feel like this is one of those holidays that should really be celebrated every day – but it’s nice to have a yearly reminder to reflect on all the wonderful women who have made outstanding contributions and left the world a better or more beautiful place than when they found it. And since this is a book blog, I’ve made a list of just a few women authors who deserve praise today and all the days.
Let’s raise a glass to honor these literary legends:
1. Jane Austen
I mean, can a list about iconic female authors even be called that if Jane Austen doesn’t top the list? When it comes to classic lit, Jane Austen is right up there with a lot of “good ole’ boys.” And her female characters are able to balance a lot of the double standards facing women still today – they manage to be desirable and able to find love even when they speak their own minds and have some sass.
2. J.K. Rowling
A woman who used her initials rather than let her first name give away her female identity and “alienate” young male readers. Today she’s the literal literary queen – a multi-media, multi-million dollar franchise genius. And her background as a single, working mother creating art on napkins makes her success even more inspiring. She stands up for what’s right both in the wizarding world and in our crazy real one.
3. Harper Lee
The author of a true “great American novel” and one that’s been on our schools required reading lists for decades. And yet, rumors still fly over what her sister called “the greatest lie ever told,” that her childhood best friend and fellow author Truman Capote actually wrote “To Kill a Mockingbird.” She left this world a more beautiful place through her writing and fought off blatant sexism along the way.
4. Shonda Rhimes
So this one might be slightly outside the parameters of this list as I wouldn’t say Shonda Rhimes is a novelist first, however she has written “The Year of Yes” which is amazing and she has certainly had a massive, meteor-sized impact on American culture. PLUS, this is my blog and I do what I want. And I am a Shonda fangirl. When it comes to ratings and therefore ad revenues, Thursday night is THE most important night of television and Shonda IS Thursday night TV – #TGIT. She has an entire night on a major network dedicated to some of the most celebrated shows in recent history not to mention that her work addresses important cultural issues and features diverse casts and characters.
Also, since I could go on and on and on and on and on…, about all the incredible female authors I’ve read recently, I’ve decided to end with a list of shout outs to writers who are on my “buy anything they’ve written” list.
- Sarah J. Maas
- Marissa Meyer
- Leigh Bardugo
- Rainbow Rowell
- Laini Taylor
- Liane Moriarty
- Kiera Cass
- Kristin Cashore
- Marie Rutkoski
- Gillian Flynn (extra special shoutout to a fellow Jayhawk!)
Who would you add??