Celebrating the women of literature

Books, we see them everywhere. Whether you’ve gone digital or still like the old fashioned paperback, whether you’re a fancy hardcopy kid or an audiobook traveller, books are always there. But how many times do you see female authors dominating your feed? When did you last read a female authored book?

Statistics from the New York times show that 3 in 15 writers are woman in 2019, a figure we shouldn’t really be proud of. Especially during this day and age, when women are finally being recognized, the writing industry still has a long way to go.

On a lighter note however, seeing as the term female author came into circulation only about 200 years ago, it has soared leaps and bounds.

All women contributed to this success of female authored books. From the fantasy novels my 12 year old sister reads today to the mystery novels my classmates read. All of these genres now have female authors and female leads.
Women have come very far ahead since..

This growth has not been easy however, and this international women’s day I’d like to honour some of the pioneering female authors humankind has witnessed.

Jane Austen

Starting off with an author of the classics. Jane Austen was everything any woman wants to be. She always published her books as ‘by a lady’ instead of writing her own name as being a female author at that time was deemed improper or using a male alias like many other pioneering authors, she truly inspired other women. Her brother Henry, whom she got her books published through was the one who first identified his sister as the author. In her work she maintained that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men. Even when the woman’s purpose (reflective of the era) was to find a man with “substantial wealth” they were not treated as inferior and all of her female protagonists had the subtle wit we love.

The Brontë Sisters

Publishing their exceptional work under the alias Currer, Ellis and Acton they were one of the leading inventors of female protagonists. From Jane Eyre to Wuthering Heights, their work inspired many. Published during a truly backward time, so much so that when Jane Eyre’s true author was revealed their book received severe backlash, the book still emerged as an engaging piece of literature commended to this date.

Agatha Christie

If you don’t know her, either you don’t read books or you’re rotting in jail, caught by Hercule Poirot. One of the leading mystery genre authors of this century, not mentioning her is a dangerous crime to commit. She too rose to prominence during the late 1800s writing 80 works of mystery and crime novels under a male and female alias. She emboldened many mystery authors both male and female after her and continues to inspire our ‘little gray cells’.

J.K Rowling

Last but not the least, our fantasy and all things magical author, Rowling is an inspiration to us all. From enthralling us with her work to her tweets she never stops inspiring. She started off her career using the pen name J.K instead of Joanne as even during the early 2000s the world was still not open to women and she anticipated the discrimination the Harry Potter series would face if it was seen as as work by a female. She’s one of the wealthiest authors (of any gender) in existence and is a person who opened the doors of literature to many muggles.