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18th Nov 2021

7 amazing books by female writers you have to check out!

Katy Thornton

If you’re in need of some reading inspo, or looking to buy some books as Christmas gifts, we’ve got the list for you.

Who doesn’t love getting books for Christmas? We think they’re the absolute perfect gift as there’s so much variety out there. Women’s writing in particular is fantastic, so much so we wanted to focus on it for this list. There’s a few writers not mentioned here who absolutely deserve to be (Liz Nugent, Sally Rooney, Naoise Dolan, Louise O’Neill) and that’s only because we’ve already raved about them so much. We also have undoubtedly missed out on some amazing women writers, and there will certainly be a part two to this list!

1. Educated – Tara Westover

This memoir follows Tara as she grows up amongst her survivalist Mormon family, while dreaming of going to college. It’s an honest portrayal of the hardships she experienced, and her complicated feelings about her parents and her siblings. At times, it is difficult to believe this is a work of non-fiction.

2. Notes To Self – Emilie Pine

Emilie Pine is an Associate Professor at University College Dublin, and released this book of essays back in 2018. She recounts her experiences with her body, addiction, sexual assault, infertility, and more. It was published by the Dublin based company Tramp Press. This is a phenomenal piece of work and I encourage all women to read these essays.

3. Where The Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

Delia Owens tells the story of Kya, also known as the Marsh girl. Kya is slowly abandoned by all the members of her family and must fend for herself, even as the people in her town ridicule her. Years later when a local man shows up dead, Kya is their prime suspect. But she isn’t at all that they say she is. This novel is being made into a film, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People) and is set for a June 2022 release.

4. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

We recommend both watching the television series and reading the book by Margaret Atwood. Written in 1985, Atwood seemed to almost predict many of our current world’s afflictions in The Handmaid’s Tale. The book examines Gilead, a post-America country with a fundamentalist religious background that forces sinning women into surrogacy roles. This is a dark, dystopian text, but it is brilliant, and we suggest you read the follow up novel The Testaments afterwards, which was published in 2019.

5. A Line Made By Walking – Sara Baume

This piece of literary fiction by Irish author Sara Baume is simply stunning. It isn’t plot heavy, so certainly not for everyone, but it depicts grief with a sort of clarity I have not seen elsewhere in fiction. Frankie moves out of Dublin and into her late grandmother’s property as an escape. She’s lost and in need of guidance, but is deeply depressed, and finds herself further unravelling in the Irish countryside. This novel is simply breathtaking.

6. Snowflake – Louise Nealon

Snowflake by Louise Nealon is the exact definition of an incredible debut novel. Debbie has just started college at Trinity, but must commute everyday from her family’s dairy farm. This is a true coming of age story, and it’s flawless. It’s insightful and emotionally poignant, and I think all readers ought to read this novel before the year is out.

7. Ghosts – Dolly Alderton

For something a little more light hearted is this debut fiction novel by British podcaster and journalist Dolly Alderton. Ghosts follows Nina Dean in her 32nd year of life as she deals with dating, failing friendships, and the declining health of her father. This is a story told with heart, humour, and warmth, and it is the perfect novel for the bookworm in your life. Alderton has also published a non-fiction memoir called Everything I Know About Love, which I also highly recommend.

We think more than a few of these books would make great stocking fillers or Kris Kindle gifts. Who’s your favourite female author?

Header image via Instagram/authordeliaowens

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