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Topic: Help! Need your favorite Women Authors! UpDated!!!

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Subject: Help! Need your favorite Women Authors! UpDated!!!
Date Posted: 10/24/2008 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 1,251
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We went to my son's parent-teacher conference last night, and visited with his english teacher.  He told my daughter and I that he doesn't have a lot of reading for his classes that are by women authors.  He only has two and of course we didn't ask who they were.  But on the ride home my daughter said we should do a list for him.  So I thought i would ask for your help to get a list togther for him.  Then we will take it to him. Like he said half his classes are female and would love to read women authors. 

The class has read the following books:

The Perfect Storm

The Red Badge of Courage

Out of the Dust

and will start 19 Minutes in a couple of weeks.

We just couldn't believe he wouldn't have any of the wonderful women authors there are in the reading world.  

Thanks for your help!!!



Last Edited on: 2/6/09 12:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/24/2008 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
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Octavia Butler and Alice Walker were the first two that came to mind.

Date Posted: 10/24/2008 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,287
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Yikes - how can that be?  What age group are the students?  Oh there are so many good female authors.  I can't wait to see what other people list on this message board.

Here are some of my suggestions:

Jacquelyn Mitchard (especially Theory of Relativity)

Jodi Picoult

Elizabeth McCracken

A. Manette Ansay (especially Vinegar Hill)

Elizabeth Berg (especially Joy School told from point of view of teenager)

Alice Hoffman

Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)


Date Posted: 10/24/2008 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
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Well there's Jane Austen of course & the Bronte girls, um what about Toni Morrison or Daphne DeMaurier or Edith Wharton.  I'll keep thinking but these are what jump out at me right away. 

Date Posted: 10/24/2008 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2008
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Here are a few that range tha gambit  from SIFI / Fantasy , Hostorical and a few Romance's ( dont worry not smutty)!                                                                                               

  • Fantasy/SiFi = Mercedes Lackey, Wen Spencer, Patricia Briggs, Naomi Novik, Tamora Pierce, Jane Lindskold, Anne McCaffery, Elizabeth  Kerner.            
  • Historical = Cecelia Holland, Kathleen O'Neal.                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Romance= Julie Garwood, Dorothy Garlock.   

Hope this helps!

Date Posted: 10/24/2008 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
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Here's some that quickly come to mind (thinking back to what I read in school):

To Kill a Mockingbird  - Harper Lee

Beloved - Toni Morrison

Little Women - Louissa May Alcott

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley


Date Posted: 10/24/2008 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2007
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How about Madelein L'Engle?  Expecially the time quartet.

And Cynthia Voigt. 

There's an interesting sci/fi/fantasy writer who I can't think of right now.  I'll edit later if/when I think of her.  Zenna Henderson, maybe? 


 Edit:   Yep, it's Zenna Henderson.  Especially "The Anything Box" - great stories!

And is that "Out of the Dust" the one by Karen Hesse?  How about her other books?

Last Edited on: 10/24/08 3:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/24/2008 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,287
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Oooh, The Bell Jar....good one!

Date Posted: 10/24/2008 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2007
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Fever 1793  --Laurie Halse Anderson

Among the Hidden Series--Margaret Peterson Haddix

Subject: How can that be?
Date Posted: 10/24/2008 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,567
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Seems like this teacher is not trying very hard.  Are there not book lists created for teachers?  Are there not MANY woman authors on those book lists?  Any teachers out there.  Does this guy not network with any other teachers? 

I am kinda put off by the whole idea that he hasn't heard of Barbara Kingsolver, Julia Alvarez,  Toni Morrison, Jhumpa Lahiri, Pearl S. Buck, Amy Tan, Anne McCaffery, Ursula K. Le Guin..... and those are just off the top of my head.  Those are just the ones from current best seller lists.



Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/24/2008 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Are you looking for particular books?  There are some great suggestions above, and sorry if I am repeating, but...

Aphra Behn - wrote The Rover  and other plays in the 1700's and is believed to be the first person to actually make a living purely from writing.

George Eliot - I forget her real name...Maryann something?  She wrote Middlemarch and The Mill on the Floss among other things, and was a part of the positivist movement in Europe in the 1800's

Amy Tan - I read The Kitchen God's Wife when I was in 10th grade (The other two in college)

Can't forget poetry: Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rosetti stick out in my mind, as well as Emily Dickinson in the USA.  More recently there's Sylvia Plath, who is famous, if not very cheerful.

My actual favorite women authors tend to SF/F: Madeleine L'Engle, Andre Norton, C.J. Cherryh, Octavia Butler, Tanya Huff.

Date Posted: 10/24/2008 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2005
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One of my favorite female authors is Barbara Kingsolver - I really enjoy both her fiction & non-fiction (essays). And add me to the Octavia Butler fan club as well! When I was in Junior High I enjoyed S.E. Hinton's (she's female) book "The Outsiders",and Bel Kaufman's "Up the Down Staircase" was a fun look at high school life.
Jenny (Jenny) - ,
Date Posted: 10/24/2008 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/13/2005
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Nobody's mentioned Margaret Atwood yet! She rocks.

Connie Willis' The Doomsday Book also just popped into my head...

Date Posted: 10/24/2008 11:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2008
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Annie Dillard: Pilgram at Tinker's Creek, Teaching a Stone to Talk.  For the Time Being is her newest one.

Date Posted: 10/25/2008 2:33 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
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Not sure what age you are looking for.  I went through my books I've read list and came up with this mixture.  Maybe something here would be appropriate.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni--Arranged Marriages (short stories)

Edith Wharton--Ethan Frome; Custom of the Country

Lisa See--Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Maya Angelou--I know why the caged bird sings

S.E. Hinton--The Outsiders; Tex (YA books)

Alice Walker--The Color Purple

Anna Quindlen--Blessings

Amy Tan--Joy Luck Club

Kristine L. Franklin--Dove Song (YA book)

Jeanne Houston--Farewell to Manzanar

Mary Shelley--Frankenstein

Pearl Buck--the Good Earth

Tracy Chevalier--The Lady and the Unicorn

Sue Monk Kidd--the Secret Life of Bees

Gail Tsukiyama--The Samurai's Garden

Helen Keller--the Story of my Life

Harriet Beecher Stowe--Uncle Tom's Cabin

Emily Bronte--Wuthering Heights

Charlotte Bronte--Jane Eyre

Last Edited on: 10/25/08 2:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/25/2008 7:10 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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I don't know what age you're looking for but I've found a few books by women that I'd consider 'required' reading for any woman!

The Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan

The Color Purple - Alice Walker

Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers

all 3 of these made me think and drove me to anger and tears for women and made me thankul I live here and in these times...

I also enjoyed A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith

The Diary of Anne Frank was also good and for younger readers

Date Posted: 10/25/2008 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
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Toni Morrison and Pearl S. Buck are the two American women who've won the Nobel prize for literature.

Isabel Allende and Laura Esquivel are two of my favorite women who write in Spanish and are translated into English.

Edith Wharton is one of my favorite women writers ever (but I hated her in high school, so take that with a grain of salt).

C.J. Cherryh is a not-very-famous writer who writes great feminist science fiction (a college professor turned me on to her by giving me Rimrunners).  Ursula K. LeGuin is a great in this genre.

Kate Chopin's The Awakening is a classic of women's literature that I'm not sure has yet been mentioned.

ETA:  How could I forget Flannery O'Connor?  But because of sex, violence, and profanity in her books, most parents would probably prefer that their children not read her until the upper grades of high school (also I can't imagine a student any younger liking her books unless she were really precocious).

Last Edited on: 10/26/08 9:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/25/2008 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
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Here is what I read when I was in high school by female authors that I liked best:

Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)

Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)

Daphne DuMaurier (Rebecca)

Also, Alcott, the Brontes, and Mary Shelley are great :)

Subject: Help! Need your favorite Women Authors!
Date Posted: 10/26/2008 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2008
Posts: 11
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Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, Sylvia Plath, Pearl Buck, Toni Morrison, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kate Chopin, Diary of Anne Frank, Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Amy Tan, Annie Dillard, Connie Willis, Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver, S.E. Hinton, and all the others listed above (well, many of them) and lots more are on many lists of books for teachers to teach.  And yes, such list *exist.* Even proliferate. They are sepated by age, by genre, by grade level, by class, by publisher, by subject matter. (English teacher wants to teach a book alongside Biology teacher or History teacher.)

Aphra Behn is *not* on those lists and should be.


Writers I teach who haven't made it to others lists: Lois McMaster Bujold, Louise Erdrich, Elizabeth Moon, Jane Yolen, Mary Doria Russell, Wen Spencer, Emma Bull, Terri Windling.

Date Posted: 10/26/2008 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
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The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston

The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston

My Antonia by Willa Cather

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Age of Innocence by Edth Wharton

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Makandaya

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

....to name a few.....

Last Edited on: 10/26/08 7:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 10/27/2008 2:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2008
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Immediately I was thinking Louisa May Alcott but saw others already wrote her. I would go for the classics which they usually tend to stick to in school....Little Women, Diary of Anne Frank, Wuthering Heights, Jane Austen, any of those i'm sure would be suitable:)
Date Posted: 10/27/2008 3:13 AM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2006
Posts: 1,187
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If you're looking for something a little outside the box, Jane Yolen (who someone else mentioned) has a book out about teenagers who are living in a camp with their parents in a cult. Very interesting. I read it when I did my Children's Lit class (although it was more young adult, since we were all going to be high school teachers) in college. I can't think of the name. I'll see if I can find it and edit this....

Also, the classics have been mentioned by many others, so I won't bother. LOL

OH!  The Giver, by Lois Lowry was a good one. Reading level may be a bit low, but it's really good for starting discussions, even for college kids! LOL

ETA: Armageddon Summer (I'm sure I misspelled that, as I'm pooped LOL). It's co-written with Bruce Coville, which I didn't remember, but I don't know if that matters?

Last Edited on: 10/27/08 3:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: girls rock
Date Posted: 10/27/2008 3:55 AM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2008
Posts: 2
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Elisabeth Robinson- The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters

Kim Edwards- The Memory Keepers Daughter

Iylana Vanzant- Yesterday, I Cried

And of course those that have already been metioned that are my favorites- Kate Chopin, Harper Lee, Sara Gruen, Barbara Kingsolver, Sue Monk Kidd and Jodi Picoult.

It is very hard for me to belive that this teacher doesn't have better resources available to him than this. But, if we can help, awesome!


Last Edited on: 10/27/08 3:59 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/27/2008 7:47 AM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2008
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I would like to throw in Adriana Trigiani. I read Queen of the Big Time and I can't remember too much that would be objectionable in this one.

Date Posted: 10/27/2008 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 1,251
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The teacher teaches high school english.  So he teaches 9th thur 12th grade.  The school is a small school.  my son's English class has 5 students in it.  But the senior english class has 29 in it.  My son should be in the senior english class but so full that he is in the junior english class.  l love his teacher, he is very good but young!!  he was my daughters student teacher when she was in high school 4 years ago and also her cross country running buddy in hs.  i guess that's why he told us that.  We talked to him this weekend and he can't wait to see the list.  Thanks for all your help!!