Best of Book Riot: 21st Century Literature by Women: A Reading List

To celebrate the end of the year, we’re running some of our favorite posts from the last six months. We’ll be back with all-new stuff on January 7th. 

____________________________

Last week, I asked for help putting together a list of women writers and their works from the 21st century. While some people got stuck in the 20th century for their recommendations, I was able to compile quite a list to share with my students. And now, I’m going to share it with you. It’s a very long list, but it is by no means complete. It is, however, an excellent starting point. Add your recommendations in the comments.

Megan Abbott – The End of Everything (2011)

Diana Abu-Jaber – Crescent (2003), Origin (2007)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half a Yellow Sun (2006)

Isabel Allende – Portrait in Sepia (2000), Ines of My Soul (2006)

Julia Alvarez – Before We Were Free (2002), Saving the World (2006)

Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin (2000), Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009)

Anita Rau Badami – Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? (2006)

Aimee Bender – An Invisible Sign of My Own (2000), The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (2010)

Jane Borodale – The Book of Fires (2010)

A.S. Byatt – The Children’s Book (2009)

Susanna Clarke – Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (2004)

Edwidge Danticat – The Dew Breaker (2004)

Lauren B. Davis – The Radiant City (2005), Our Daily Bread (2011)

Lydia Davis – The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (Short Fiction – 2009)

Kiran Desai – The Inheritance of Loss (2006)

Anita Diamant – Good Harbor (2001), The Last Days of Dogtown (2005)

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – The Palace of Illusions (2008)

Emma Donoghue – Life Mask (2004), Room (2010)

Jennifer Egan – A Visit from the Goon Squad (2012)

Louise Erdrich – The Plague of Doves (2008)

Lyndsay Faye – The Gods of Gotham (2012)

Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl (2012)

Kay Gibbons – The Life All Around Me (2005)

Xiaolu Guo – Village of Stone (2003), A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary For Lovers (2007)

Lauren Groff – The Monsters of Templeton (2008), Arcadia (2012)

Carol Guess – Gaslight (2001)

Jennifer Haigh – Mrs. Kimble (2003), Baker Towers (2005), Faith (2011)

Melinda Haynes – Willem’s Field (2004)

Alice Hoffman – The Dovekeepers (2011)

Helen Humphreys – Wild Dogs (2004)

Siri Hustvedt – The Summer Without Men (2011)

Joshilyn Jackson – Between, Georgia (2007), A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty (2012)

Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees (2003), The Mermaid Chair (2005)

Haven Kimmel – The Solace of Leaving Early (2002)

Barbara Kingsolver – Prodigal Summer (2000), The Lacuna (2009)

Elizabeth Kostova – The Historian (2005)

Nicole Krauss – The History of Love (2005), Great House (2010)

Aryn Kyle – The God of Animals (2007)

Jhumpa Lahiri – The Namesake (2003), Unaccustomed Earth (Short Fiction – 2008)

Ursula K. Leguin – Lavinia (2008)

Anne-Marie MacDonald – The Way the Crow Flies (2003)

Claire Messud – The Emperor’s Children (2006)

Lydia Millet – My Happy Life (2002), Oh Pure and Radiant Heart (2005)

Lorrie Moore – A Gate at the Stairs (2009)

Laura Moriarty – The Chaperone (2012)

Toni Morrison – Love (2003), A Mercy (2008), Home (2012)

Kate Morton – The House of Riverton (2006)

Alice Munro – Runaway (2004), The View from Castle Rock (Short Fiction – 2006)

Eileen Myles – Inferno: A Poet’s Novel  (2010)

Sena Jeter Naslund – Four Spirits (2004)

Audrey Niffenegger – The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003), Her Fearful Symmetry (2009)

Joyce Carol Oates – I’ll Take You There (2002), The Falls (2004), A Fair Maiden (2010)

Heather O’Neill – Lullabies for Little Criminals (2006)

Julie Otsuka – When The Emperor was Divine (2002), The Buddha in the Attic (2011)

Helen Oyeyemi – The Icarus Girl (2005), Mr. Fox (2011)

Ann Pancake – Strange As This Weather Has Been (2007)

Ann Patchett – Bel Canto (2001), State of Wonder (2011)

Marge Piercy – Colours Passing Through Us (Poetry – 2003)

Francine Prose – Blue Angel (2000)

Nina Revoyr – Wingshooters (2011)

Marilynne Robinson – Gilead (2004), Home (2008)

Mary Doria Russell –  A Thread of Grace (2005), Dreamers of the Day (2008)

Diane Setterfield – The Thirteenth Tale (2006)

Elissa Schappell – Blueprints for Building Better Girls (Short Fiction – 2011)

Sarah Schulman – The Child (2007), The Mere Future (2009)

Mary Ann Shaffer – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2008)

Lionel Shriver – We Need to Talk About Kevin (2003)

Marisa Silver – The God of War (2008)

Jane Smiley – Private Life (2010)

Ali Smith –  Hotel World (2001), The Accidental (2005), There But For The (2011)

Zadie Smith – White Teeth (2000), On Beauty (2005), NW (2012)

Kathryn Stockett – The Help (2006)

Elizabeth Strout – Olive Kitteridge (2008)

Donna Tartt – The Little Friend (2002)

Jeannette Walls – The Glass Castle (Non-Fiction 2005)

Karen Thompson Walker – The Age of Miracles (2012)

Sarah Waters – Fingersmith (2002)

Kathleen Winter – Annabel (2010)

Alissa York – Effigy (2007)

Looking for your next great audiobook? We recommend Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. Get it or one of 250,000 other audiobooks free when you begin an Audible 30-day trial. audible_scifi_570x147
VIEW COMMENTS