Strong Women Books…

Strong women pic

I was just browsing through my mind’s files the other day (as you do), and started to compile a list of books (both fiction and non-fiction) which featured women who were strong in some way – leaders in their community, strong views/values, emotional strength – all kinds.

And thus, this list was born (female metaphor there). (These are just the titles that I have read so far… Feel free to add your own suggestions.) After reading the drivel of Moran’s book (and to continue the women’s history trend I’m on), I thought it would be really good to think of some women who were more admirable in many ways. I also find it to be fascinating that sometimes you can have an unlikeable protagonist, but still admire her for her strength, however it may manifest itself.

  • The Stone Angel – Margaret Laurence (1964)
  • Matilda – Roald Dahl (1988)
  • Nervous Conditions – Tsitsi Dangarembga (1989)
  • Emily Alone – Stewart O’Nann (2011)
  • Firegirl – Tony  Abbott (YA) (2006)
  • The Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanna Collins (various)
  • Once Were Warriors – Alan Duff (1990)
  • Love Amongst the Butterflies – Margaret Fountaine (Vic writer; pub. 1978)
  • Letters of a Woman Homesteader – Emily Pruitt Stewart (1914)
  • My Stroke of Insight – Jill Bolte Taylor (2006)
  • Radioactive (Marie Curie) – Lauren Redniss (2010)
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy (1891)
  • A Sky Full of Kindness – Rob Ryan (2011)
  • The Odd Women – George Gissing (1892)
  • My Life in France – Julia Child (2009)
  • The Diary of a Good Neighbor – Doris Lessing (2009)
  • If the Old Could – Doris Lessing (2009)
  • Diary of an Ordinary Woman – Margaret Forster (2004)
  • The Dressmaker of Khair Khana – Gial Tzemech Lemmon (2010)
  • Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery (1908)
  • Monique and the Mango Rains – Kris Holloway (2006)
  • Two Old Women (Alaska tribe) – Velma Wallis (1993)
  • Lark Rise to Candleford – Flora Thompson (1945)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloots (2010)
  • Bluestockings: The Remarkable Story of the First Women to Fight for an Education  – Jane Robinson (2009)
  • Nella Last’s War – Nella Last (1981)
  • A Child of the Forest trilogy – Winifred Foley (1974)
  • Foreign and Female: Immigrant Women in America 1910-1932 – Doris Weatherford (1986)
  • House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros (1984)
  • Still Alice – Lisa Genova (2009)
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall – Patricia McLaughlin (1986)
  • Persepolis books – Marijane Strapi (2003)
  • Out to Pasture – Effie Lelander Wilde (1995)
  • These is my Words – Nancy Turner (1999)
  • Number One Ladies Detective Agency books – Alexander McCall Smith (1998)
  • Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death that Changed the British Monarchy – Helen Rappaport (2011)
  • As We Are Now – May Sarton (1992( (plus epistolary as well) – bliss
  • Bachelor Girl: The Secret Story of Single Women – Beby Israel (2002)
  • Song of the Lark – Willa Cather (1915)
  • The Marie Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Women in Science – Julie des Jardins (2010)

Added 07/2015:

  • Like One of the Family – Alice Childress (1956)
  • Brown Girl, Brownstones – Paule Marshall (1959)
  • So Long a Letter – Mariama Ba (1989)
  • Little Bee – Chris Cleave (2008)
  • Lean In – Sheryl Sandburg (2013)
  • Saddlebags for Suitcases – Mary Bosanquet (1942)
  • Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey (2014)
  • An Unnecessary Woman – Rabih Alameddine (2014)
  • Giants in the Earth – O. E. Rolvaag (1927)
  • Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White (1952)
  • I See You Made an Effort – Annabelle Gurwitch (2014)
  • Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret – Judy Blume (1970)
  • Period Piece – Gwen Ravarat (1952)
  • Gift from the Sea – Anna Morrow Lindbergh (1955)
  • Sister Carrie – Theodor Dreiser (1900)
  • Orange is the New Black – Piper Kerman (2011)
  • Annie Dunne – Sebastian Barry (2002)
  • Felicia’s Journey – William Trevor (1995)
  • When Everything Changed – Gail Collins (2009)
  • Tangles – Sarah Leavitt (2012)
  • Logavina Street – Barbara Demick (2012)
  • Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood (almost anything by Atwood will fit the bill but watch out for some of her earlier stuff as it can be a bit iffy in quality)
  • Black Beauty – Anna Sewell (1877)
  • America’s Women – Gail Collins (2003)
  • The Story of my Life – Helen Keller (1902)
  • As for Me and my House – Sinclair Ross (1941)
  • Parnassus on Wheels – Christopher Morley (1917)
  • The Grandmothers – Doris Lessing (2003)
  • The Making of an American Quilt – Whitney Otto (1991)
  • Venus with Biceps – David Chapman/Patricia Vertinsky (2010)
  • Relish: My Life in the Kitchen – Lucy Knisley (2013)
  • Winter Wheat – Mildred Walker (1951)
  • American Women in Letters – Dorothy Rappaport (1990)
  • Ten Days in the Madhouse – Nellie Bly (1887)
  • Bite of the Mango – Kamara Mariato (2008)
  • The Spare Room – Helen Garner (2008)

Added 02/16:

  • The Color Purple – Alice Walker (1983)
  • We Should all be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie (2012)
  • Praisesong for the Widow – Paule Marshall (1997)
  • Aya graphic novels by Marguerit Abouet and Clement Oubrerie (2012-)
  • The Country Girls trilogy – Edna O’Brien (1960’s)

Added 08/16:

  • Carol – Patricia Highsmith (1952)
  • A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hainesberry (1959) Play
  • Beloved – Toni Morrison (1987)
  • Textbook Amy Kraus Rosenthal – Amy Kraus Rosenthal (2016)
  • Sula – Toni Morrison (1973)
  • The Endless Steppe – Esther Hautzig (1968)
  • Black Women of the Old West – William Loren Katz (1995)
  • Hope in the Dark – Rebecca Solnit (2016)
  • Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie (2014)
  • A Child in the Forest trilogy – Winifred Foley (1974)
  • The Woman Warrior – Maxine Hong Kingston (1975)

Any other suggestions?…

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6 thoughts on “Strong Women Books…

    • Not familiar with that, but will see. (I mean, I have heard of the title, but it was one of those that I didn’t get around to read when I was a child. Hard to bear the allure of Enid Blyton!) Thanks for the idea.

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