30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read (2022 Update)

Due to various social and historical reasons, women have not been in the spotlight for most part of the history of literature. Not that they have not been present, they just haven’t been highlighted. In order to remedy that, we at Fiction Horizon have decided to bring you a list of the 30 best female writers in the history of literature you definitely need to read in your lifetime. The list is going to give you some basic biographical information about them and the works you should definitely read. Prepare to go on a journey from Ancient Greece to contemporary times!

1. Virginia Woolf

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse

Virginia Woolf, born Adeline Virginia Alexandra Stephen on January 25, 1882 in London and died on March 28, 1941 in Rodmell (United Kingdom), was a British writer. She is one of the leading modernist writers of the 20th century. In the interwar period, she was a prominent figure in London literary society and a central member of the Bloomsbury Group, which brought together English writers, artists and philosophers.

The novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), Orlando (1928) and The Waves (1931), as well as the feminist essay “A Room of One’s Own” (1929), remain among her most famous writings. In 1941 at the age of 59, she committed suicide by drowning in the Ouse near Monk’s House in the village of Rodmell where she lived with her husband Leonard Woolf.

2. Jane Austen

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma

Jane Austen, born December 16, 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, England, and died July 18, 1817 in Winchester, in the same county, was an English writer. Her realism, biting social criticism and mastery of free indirect discourse, her aloof humor and irony have made her one of England’s most widely read and beloved writers.

All her life, Jane Austen lived in a close-knit family unit, belonging to the small English gentry. She owes her education to the encouragement to read brought not only by her brothers James and Henry, but especially by her father, who authorizes her to draw without restriction from his vast library. The unfailing support of her family is essential for her development as a professional writer.

Jane Austen’s artistic apprenticeship spanned from her early teens until around her twenty-fifth year. During this period, she experimented with different literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she experimented with before abandoning it, and wrote and deeply reworked three major novels, while starting a fourth.

From 1811 to 1816, with the publication of Sense and Sensibility (published anonymously in 1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she enjoyed success. Two other novels, Northanger Abbey (actually completed as early as 1803) and Persuasion, were both published posthumously in 1818; in January 1817, she began her last novel, eventually titled Sanditon, which she was unable to complete before her death.

3. Agatha Christie

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: And Then There Were None, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie was a British writer, author of numerous detective novels. Her name is associated with that of his two heroes: Hercule Poirot, the Belgian professional detective, and Miss Marple, an amateur detective. They call her “the Queen of Crime”. Indeed, Agatha Christie is one of the most important and innovative writers of the detective genre.

She has also written several novels, including a few sentimental stories, under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott. Agatha Christie is one of the most famous writers in the world and she is considered the most widely read author in history among the Anglo-Saxons, after William Shakespeare; he is also by far the most translated author in the world.

She has published 66 novels, 154 short stories and 20 plays, these works having been translated into several languages. Most of the plots take place behind closed doors, which allows the reader to try to guess the identity of the culprit before the end of the story. The flavor of his stories lies in the resolution of the investigation, often improbable, taking the reader by surprise. His novels and short stories have been adapted for film, video games and television.

4. Sylvia Plath

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath, born October 27, 1932 in Jamaica Plain, in the suburbs of Boston, and died February 11, 1963 in Primrose Hill (London), was an American writer and poet, author of poems, a novel, short stories, children’s books and essays. While she is best known internationally for her poetry, she also draws her notoriety from The Bell Jar, an autobiographical novel which describes in detail the circumstances of her first depression, at the beginning of her adult life. Her life, her work and her poetic and literary aesthetics are the subject of thousands of studies all over the world.

5. Sappho

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: “Ode to Aphrodite”, “Tithonus poem”

Sappho was an ancient Greek poetess who lived in the 7th and 6th centuries BC, in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. Very famous during Antiquity, her poetic work only survives in the state of fragments (Oxyrhynchus Papyri no. 7, in particular). She is known for having expressed in her writings her attraction to young girls, hence the term “sapphism” to designate female homosexuality, while the term “lesbian” is derived from Lesbos, the island where she lived.

6. Emily Dickinson

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: The Poems of Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was an American poet. Coming from a wealthy family with strong community ties, she lived an introverted and reclusive life. After studying in her youth, for seven years at the Amherst Academy, she lived for a while at the women’s seminary of Mount Holyoke before returning to the family home in Amherst.

Considered an eccentric by the neighborhood, she is renowned for her fondness for white clothes and her reluctance to receive visitors, or even later to leave her room. Most of his friendships are therefore maintained by correspondence. Although she wrote almost 1,800 poems, less than a dozen were published during her lifetime. Also, these were usually changed by the editors to conform to the poetic rules of the time.

Dickinson’s poems are indeed unique for their time: they consist of very short lines, have no titles, and frequently use imperfect rhyme and capitalization as well as unconventional punctuation. Many of his poems deal with death and immortality, subjects that also recur in his correspondence with those close to him.

Although most of her acquaintances would know that Emily Dickinson wrote, the extent of her work was not known until after her death in 1886, when Lavinia, her younger sister, discovered her stash of poems. His first posthumous collection was thus published in 1890 by personal relations, Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd, who greatly altered its content.

It was not until Thomas H. Johnson’s 1955 edition, The Poems of Emily Dickinson, that a complete and virtually intact collection of her work first appeared. Despite unfavorable reviews and great skepticism of her literary achievements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Anglo-Saxon critics now regard Emily Dickinson as a major American poet.

7. Mary Shelley

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus

Mary Shelley, born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on August 30, 1797 in Somers Town, a suburb of London (today in the district of Camden), and died on February 1, 1851 in Belgravia (London), was a British writer, novelist, playwright, essayist, biographer and author of travelogues. She is best known for her novel Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus.

Daughter of feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft and political writer William Godwin, she lost her mother when she herself was only ten days old. His father remarried four years later. He provides his daughter with a rich education and encourages her to adhere to his liberal political theories. In 1814, Mary Godwin began an affair with a married man, a supporter of her father, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Accompanied by Claire Clairmont, the daughter of Mary’s mother-in-law, the couple travels through Europe. Over the next two years, Mary and Percy grapple with lifelong debt and the death of their daughter. They married in 1816, after the suicide of Percy’s first wife. In 1816, during a stay near Geneva, Mary (who became Mary Shelley after her marriage) wrote her first novel, Frankenstein.

In 1818, the Shelleys left the United Kingdom for Italy, where their second and third child died, before Mary Shelley gave birth to her son, Percy Florence Shelley, who alone survived. In 1822, her husband drowned in the Gulf of Spezia, during a storm. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and, from then on, devoted herself entirely to the education of her son and to his career as an author. The last ten years of his life were marked by illness. She died of a brain tumor on February 1, 1851.

8. Charlotte Brontë

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë, born April 21, 1816 in Thornton (Adams County) and died March 31, 1855 in Haworth (Bergen County), was an English novelist. Third daughter of the Reverend Patrick Brontë, within a family of modest means with six children, she benefits, like her four sisters and her brother, from the presence of a father who pushed his classical studies to the University of Cambridge, and does not hesitate to pass on to them his culture and his vision of the world.

However, she knows very early, when she is still a child, the mourning of her mother, then of her two older sisters, struck by tuberculosis. Despite her status as a woman and her lack of financial means, she managed to publish her poems and those of her sisters (under male names) in 1846, and above all, to publish her main work Jane Eyre, which had become a great classic of the English and world literature, having also left an important imprint on cultural history by being adapted to the cinema on several occasions.

9. Anna Akhmatova

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Wayside Grass, Anno Domini MCMXXI, Poems

Anna Akhmatova, pen name of Anna Andreyevna Gorenko, born June 11, 1889 (June 23, 1889 in the Gregorian calendar) in Odessa and died March 5, 1966 in Moscow, one of the most important Russian poets of the 20th century. Muse of the poetic movement of acmeists, nicknamed the “Queen of the Neva” or “Soul of the Silver Age”, Anna Akhmatova remains today one of the greatest figures of Russian literature.

Akhmatova’s work is made up of both small lyrical poems, a genre that she helps to renew, and large poetic compositions, such as Requiem, her dark masterpiece on Stalinist terror. The recurring themes of her work are the passage of time1, memories, the destiny of the creative woman and the difficulties of living and writing in the shadow of Stalinism.

10. Wisława Szymborska

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: 100 Poems – 100 Happinesses, Poems, Questioning Yourself

Maria Wisława Anna Szymborska was a Polish poet. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996 and with numerous other awards, she is generally considered the most important Polish poet of recent years and one of the most loved poetesses by the public all over the world. In Poland, her books have achieved sales figures (500,000 copies sold, like a bestseller) that rival those of the most notable prose authors, although Szymborska ironically remarked, in the poem entitled “Some Like Poetry”, that no more than two in a thousand people like poetry.

11. Harper Lee

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: To Kill a Mockingbird

Nelle Harper Lee, known as Harper Lee, born April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama and died February 19, 2016 in the same city, is an American novelist known for her novel To Kill a Mockingbird, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. Selling forty million copies, this book is a classic of American literature, studied as such in many secondary schools in the United States, and regularly cited at the top of the rankings of critics and booksellers. In 2007, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush for her contribution to literature.

12. Louisa May Alcott

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Little Women

Louisa May Alcott was an American novelist, best known for her novel Little Women. The second of four daughters, she was educated by a philosopher father whose views on how to raise children were exacting, and by Henry David Thoreau, the poet and teacher; she also had the transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson as a teacher, but she did not attend any school.

She wrote tales from an early age and, in 1848, wrote her first book. Her father’s sometimes violent temper and his inability to properly support his family lead to conflict between her parents and forced the four sisters to work at a young age. She took turns working as an occasional teacher, seamstress, governess, domestic help, and writer.

As an adult, she fought for the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of women. She published a book about her experience as a nurse during the Civil War, and a first novel in 1864. Three years later, she agreed to run a children’s newspaper and compose a story for young readers. This resulted in the book Little Women, published in 1868, the most famous of her novels.

A portrait of American life in the second half of the 19th century, the book was so successful that she published a sequel, Good Wives, in 1869. Two other books on the March sisters also exist : The Dream of Jo March and The Great Family of Jo March. Having contracted typhoid fever during her service in the Civil War, she suffered from chronic health problems. She died in Boston on March 6, 1888, two days after her father’s death.

13. Pearl S. Buck

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: The Good Earth

Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker Buck, better known as Pearl S. Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhen, was an American writer and novelist. As the daughter of missionaries to China, and later as a missionary, Buck spent most of her life before of 1934 in Zhenjiang. The family spent summers in a villa in Kuling City, Mountain Lu, Jiujiang, and during this annual pilgrimage the young Ella decided to become a writer.

The Good Earth was the best-selling novel in the United States in 1931 and 1932, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, Buck won the Nobel Prize for Literature “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces”. She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, receiving it in 1938. She spent half her life in China, where her missionary parents took her when she was three months old and where she lived for about forty years . She is known by the surname of her first husband, Buck.

14. Emily Brontë

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Wuthering Heights

Emily Jane Brontë, born July 30, 1818 in Thornton and died December 19, 1848 in Haworth, was a British poet and novelist, sister of Charlotte Brontë and Anne Brontë. Wuthering Heights, her only novel, is considered a classic of English and world literature. Very close to her sister Anne, to the point that they have been compared to twins, she participated with her in the Gondal cycle. Emily is the author of many fine poems, a significant portion of which was written as part of the Gondal.

15. Gertrude Stein

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Q.E.D., Fernhurst, Tender Buttons

Gertrude Stein, born February 3, 1874 in Allegheny West, Pennsylvania and died July 27, 1946 at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris, was an American poet, writer, playwright and feminist. She spent most of her life in France and was a catalyst in the development of modern literature and art. Through her personal collection and through her books, she contributed to the dissemination of Cubism and more particularly the work of Picasso, Matisse and Cézanne.

16. George Eliot

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Middlemarch

George Eliot, whose real name Mary Ann (or Mary Anne) Evans, is a British novelist born November 22, 1819 in Nuneaton and died December 22, 1880 in the Chelsea district of London. She is considered one of the greatest Victorian writers. His novels, which are set in provincial England (the rural Midlands), are known for their realism and psychological depth. She took on a masculine-sounding pen name so that her work would be taken seriously.

Even if the authors of this period published freely under their real names, the use of a male name would have enabled her to ensure that her works were not perceived as mere romance novels. The other deciding factor may have been the wish to be judged separately from his already recognized work as an editor and critic and the desire to preserve his private life from public curiosity and in particular his scandalous relationship with George Henry Lewes, a man married with whom she lived for more than 20 years.

17. Simone de Beauvoir

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: The Second Sex, She Came to Stay, The Mandarins

Simone de Beauvoir, born on January 9, 1908 in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, the city where she died on April 14, 1986, is a French philosopher, novelist, memoirist and essayist. In 1954, after several novels including L’Invitée (1943) and Le Sang des autres (1945), she won the Goncourt Prize for Les Mandarins, her works were then among the most widely read in the world. Often considered a major theoretician of feminism, notably thanks to her book The Second Sex published in 1949, Simone de Beauvoir participated in the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s. She shared her life with the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Their philosophies, although very close, did not share the same philosophical views.

18. Marguerite Duras

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: The Lover, Moderato cantabile

Marguerite Duras – pen name of Marguerite Donnadieu – is a writer, playwright, screenwriter and French director, born April 4, 1914 in Gia Định (near Saigon), then in French Indochina, and died March 3, 1996 in Paris. Through the diversity and modernity of her work, which renews the novel genre and shakes up theatrical and cinematographic conventions, she is an important author of the second half of the 20th century.

Associated, at first, with the noveau roman movement, she then regularly published novels which made known her particular voice with the restructuring of sentences, characters, action and time, and her themes like waiting, love, feminine sensuality or alcohol: Moderato cantabile (1958), The Rapture of Lol V. Stein (1964), The Vice-Consul (1966), The Disease of Death (1982), Yann Andréa Steiner (1992), dedicated to his last companion Yann Andréa — who, after his death, would become his literary executor — or Écrire (1993).

She met with immense public success with L’Amant, which won the Prix Goncourt in 1984, an autofiction on the sexual and romantic experiences of her adolescence in Indochina in the 1930s, which she rewrote in 1991 under the title of L’Amant de la Chine du Nord.

She also wrote for the theatre, and for the cinema: in 1959 she wrote the screenplay and the dialogues of the film Hiroshima mon amour by Alain Resnais, which earned her an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay at the 33rd Academy Awards. She herself directed original films.

19. Alice Munro

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

Alice Munro, born Alice Ann Laidlaw on July 10, 1931 in Wingham (Ontario, Canada), is an English-speaking Canadian writer. She mainly writes short stories, sometimes interrelated and centered around female characters, in Ontario or British Columbia from the 1940s to today. Favorite for several years for the Nobel Prize for Literature according to literary critics, she received this award on October 10, 2013 for being “the sovereign of the art of the contemporary short story”, as explained by the Swedish Academy.

20. J.K. Rowling

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Harry Potter series

Joanne Rowling, better known by the pen names J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith, is a British novelist and screenwriter born on July 31, 1965 in the town of Yate (South Gloucestershire). It owes its worldwide notoriety to the Harry Potter series, whose novels translated into nearly eighty languages ​​have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide.

Coming from a modest family, she wrote her first “story” at the age of six. After studying at the University of Exeter and at the Sorbonne where she obtained a degree in French literature and philology, she worked for a time at Amnesty International, then taught English and French. It was at twenty-five that she built the first concepts and institutions of her wizarding world, in which an orphan child discovered both his tragic heritage and his talents as a magician.

She wrote her first novel, The Philosopher’s Stone, in a context of precariousness and depression and had to wait more than a year before its publication in 1997 by Bloomsbury. Acclaimed by readers of all ages and by critics, J. K. Rowling has won numerous literary awards, including the Hugo, Locus and Bram Stoker awards. She is renowned for approaching deep ideas and themes with accessibility and humour, and regularly attaching herself to characters placed on the margins of society.

21. Margaret Atwood

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Eleanor Atwood is a Canadian poet, writer and environmentalist. A prolific literary critic and activist, she was the winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Prize and the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature, and above all, a two-time winner of the prestigious Booker Prize; she was also a seven-time finalist for the Governor General’s Award, a recognition offered by the Prime Minister of Canada, winning it twice.

Atwood is one of the most decorated living writers of fiction and science fiction (or speculative fiction). She is particularly known for her novels and her poems, but she is also known for her remarkable work in favor of feminism. Many of her poems are inspired by myths and fairy tales, which are one of her particular interests from an early age.

Her works testify to a continuous and profound concern for Western civilization and politics, which she considers to be at an increasing stage of decay. Margaret Atwood’s fiction comes in a haunted and visionary, but not without optimistic glimpses. The vast culture and irony are two fundamental components of her work, accompanied which are by sensitive changes in style from work to work and continuous references both to episodes of contemporary life and to writers of previous eras.

22. Toni Morrison

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby

Toni Morrison, born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18, 1931 in Lorain, Ohio and died on August 5, 2019 in New York, was an American novelist, essayist, literary critic, playwright, librettist, professor of literature and editor. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, for which she is the eighth woman and the first African-American female author to have received this distinction.

23. Doris Lessing

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: The Grass Is Singing, The Golden Notebook

Doris May Lessing, born October 22, 1919 in Kermanshah (Iran) and died November 17, 2013 (aged 94) in London, is a British writer and the winner of theNobel Prize for Literature in 2007. Famous from her first book, she is the author of some twenty novels including the international bestseller The Golden Notebook (1962).

She quickly emerged as a committed and militant writer, notably for Marxist, anti-colonialist and anti-apartheid causes. She was also associated with the fight of feminists without having claimed or desired it. Doris Lessing’s work is polymorphic. Deeply autobiographical, she draws inspiration in particular from her African experience, her youthful years and her social or political commitments. Her romantic, epic, realistic and lyrical style allowed him to approach different themes such as cultural conflicts, racial and ethnic injustices, the contradiction between individual conscience and the common good, violence between beings and classes, uprooting or even childhood.

24. Anaïs Nin

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Delta of Venus, Little Birds

Anaïs Nin, born Rose Jeanne Anaïs Edelmira Antolina Nin5 on February 21, 1903 in Neuilly-sur-Seine and died on January 14, 1977 in Los Angeles, was a Franco-American writer. Born in France to parents from Cuba, she owes her notoriety to the publication of diaries that span decades and offer deep insight into her private life and relationships. The uncensored version of her diaries could not be published until after her death and that of her husband. She is also one of the first women to manage to have erotic works published.

25. Selma Lagerlöf

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Gösta Berling’s Saga, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf was a Swedish writer. She is one of the country’s best-known writers; her works are part of world literature. In 1909 she was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature and in 1914 she was the first woman to be admitted to the Swedish Academy. Lagerlöf wrote spiritual, imaginative and home-related works as well as children’s books. The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, one of Selma Lagerlöf’s most popular books, was published in 1906/1907.

26. Elfride Jelinek

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: The Piano Teacher, The Children of the Dead

Elfriede Jelinek, born October 20, 1946 in Mürzzuschlag, is an Austrian writer. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004. His prose work (novels and plays) uses violence, sarcasm and incantation to analyze and destroy social stereotypes, social exploitation and archetypes of sexism. It also indicts Austria, which it considers backward and steeped in its Nazi past.

She was a member of the Austrian Communist Party from 1974 to 1991. She exchanges imprecations with the extreme right (which makes her name of Czech origin rhyme with Dreck: “dirt”) and women in power. She has always violently positioned herself against the ideas and personality of former FPÖ leader Jörg Haider.

27. Marguerite Yourcenar

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Memoirs of Hadrian

Marguerite Yourcenar, pseudonym of Marguerite Cleenewerck de Crayencour, born June 8, 1903 in Brussels and died December 17, 1987 in Bar Harbor in the State of Maine (United States), was a French writer and academic (naturalized American in 1947). Novelist, short story writer and autobiographer, she was also a poet, translator, essayist and literary critic. She was the first woman elected member of the French Academy in 1980.

28. George Sand

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: Jacques, The Devil’s Pool

George Sand, pen name of Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin de Francueil, by marriage Baroness Dudevant, is a French novelist, playwright, letter writer, literary critic and journalist, born in Paris on July 1, 1804 and died at the Château de Nohant-Vic le June 8, 1876. She is one of the most prolific writers, with more than 70 novels to her credit and 50 volumes of various works including short stories, tales, plays and political texts.

Like her great-grandmother, Louise Dupin, whom she admired, George Sand stood up for women, advocated passion, castigated marriage and fought against the prejudices of a conservative society. George Sand caused a scandal with her turbulent love life, with her masculine clothes, which she launched a specific fashion style, and with her male pseudonym, which she adopted in 1829.

29. Donna Tartt

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: The Secret History, The Goldfinch

Donna Louise Tartt is an American writer. In 2014 she won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction with the novel The Goldfinch. Donna Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and grew up in the nearby city of Grenada. After a year at the University of Mississippi, following the advice of one of her professors, in 1982 she moved to the University of Bennington, Vermont. There she met Bret Easton Ellis, with whom she befriended.

She began at that time writing her first novel, originally titled The God of Illusions and later published as The Secret History when it came out in 1992. The novel achieved considerable public success, selling five million copies. The Little Friend, her second novel, was published in October 2002. The third novel, The Goldfinch, was published in English on October 22, 2013 (curiously, the Dutch translation had been published a month earlier).

30. Hannah Arendt

30 Best Female Writers You Need to Read

Works You Should Read: The Origins of Totalitarianism, Eichmann in Jerusalem

Hannah Arendt, born Johanna Arendt on October 14, 1906 in Hanover and died on December 4, 1975 in New York, was a German-American political scientist, philosopher and journalist, known for her work on political activity, totalitarianism, modernity and the philosophy of history. However, she stressed that her vocation was not philosophy but political theory. This is why she called herself a “political scientist” rather than a philosopher.

Her rejection of philosophy is notably evoked in The Human Condition, where she considers that “the major part of political philosophy since Plato could easily be interpreted as a series of attempts to discover the theoretical foundations and the practical means of a definitive escape from politics”. His works on the totalitarian phenomenon are studied all over the world and his political and philosophical thought occupies an important place in contemporary reflection.

Her most famous books are The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), The Human Condition (1958) and On Revolution (1963). Her book Eichmann in Jerusalem, published in 1963 following the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961, is where she develops the concept of the banality of evil, was the subject of international controversy.

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