The other week, author Shannon Hale shared the following on Twitter:
In writing workshops I ask the men, "Can you think of 5 women writers that you've read multiple books of theirs?" Most cannot.
Then I ask the women, "Can you think of 5 men writers that you've read multiple books of theirs?" The question is laughable because OF COURSE WE HAVE. https://t.co/7Ddr0nr4bk
— Shannon Hale (@haleshannon) February 22, 2019
We know this is, unfortunately, true of many readers. So we at WWAC thought it would be a perfect opportunity to recommend some of our favourite female writers—particularly ones with multiple works to add to dig into—to help people correct this oversight in their reading history.
Recommended by Emily Lauer
Ann Leckie has written multiple books in the same far-future universe, the three books of the Imperial Radch series and the standalone Provenance, which takes place far away from Radch space. She is also a prolific author of short stories, and her first book-length fantasy, The Raven Tower just came out last month.
Also, Jane Austen wrote six novels, and honestly, read them. They truly define for me the idea that a classic is a book that you can read over and over again and get different things from them each time.
Mary Roberts Rinehart was an American golden-age mystery novelist, whose fame has not lasted the same way Agatha Christie’s has, or even Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, or Josephine Tey. They are all wonderful in different ways, and I’ve read several of each of their mysteries multiple times.
Recommended by Tia Kalla
Pamela C. Wrede did one of my favorite series of all time, the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, a quadology of cozy, quirky fantasy lovingly poking a bit of fun at the tropes of fantasy. If you’re a fan of Dianne Wynne Jones and her practical characters living among low-key magic and whimsicality, you’ll like Wrede. She’s also done one of the best epistolary novels I’ve ever read, Sorcery & Cecilia, Or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, co-written with Caroline Stevermer.
Ursula Vernon is best known for her Hamster Princess children’s books, but her adult works under the pen name T. Kingfisher are amazing weird fantasy. Where some fantasy authors like to regale with details of elaborate costumes and lavish feasts, Vernon enraptures with the minutiae of gardening and the reality of riding horses for the first time (it’s not fun). She’s done a number of fairy tale retellings in her own style, like The Seventh Bride and Byrony and Roses, but her original Clocktaur Wars duology was un-put-down-able.
Recommended by Melissa Brinks
Angela Carter is my hands-down favorite author. Her luscious prose and flipping of fairy tale convention will have you second-guessing everything you felt about “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Her work outside of fairy tales may not have achieved the same fame, but a Carter story is a Carter story, all of them rife with visceral detail and haunted by femininity.
Victoria/V.E. Schwab is hands down my favourite author. Doesn’t matter if she’s writing middle grade, young adult, or adult fiction, I love it all. She creates detailed and unique worlds to get lost in and complex characters you can’t help but root for. My favourite book by her changes with my mood, but if I had to choose its probably a tie between Vicious and The Archived.
Initially, I did not think Maggie Stiefvater was an author I would come back to for more than one book. I listened to Shiver, the first book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series back in 2012, and it wasn’t for me. But then a year later my book club picked The Raven Boys for our monthly read and I was in love. I devoured that series and all of her books since and am sure I’ll do the same when Call Down the Hawk comes out later this year.