Cozying up with a warm mug of tea and a good book is one of our favorite November past times. But instead of reaching for our usual faves (whether that’s a hard-hitting classic novel or a guilty pleasure rom-com), the current political drama has gotten us in the mood for some #girlboss literature. Here are 13 contemporary female authors who are slaying the literature game. Get ready to be inspired.
1. Amy Tan: Touching on topics that are mega relatable — from mother-daughter relationships to growing up as an Asian-American — Amy’s amazing collection of stories often features strong women overcoming hardships and resonates with people across the globe.
Best known for: The Joy Luck Club ($10)
2. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Born in Enugu, Nigeria in 1977, Chimamanda is a proud feminist who is definitely on our to-read list. Along with her extraordinarily popular TED talk, “The Danger of a Single Story,” Chimamanda’s fresh perspective on controversial topics and unique voice has skyrocketed her literary career… and we’re obsessed.
Best known for: Americanah ($9)
3. Roxane Gay: The sheer amount of work that Roxane Gay has accomplished in her career is ridiculous (in the best possible way!). From being a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times to creating her own Marvel comic to penning amazing non-fiction titles, Roxane’s tell-it-like-it-is style makes her both relatable and readable.
Best known for: Bad Feminist ($9)
4. Helen Oyeyemi: Helen is a British novelist whose work with magic realism has gained her numerous accolades and critical praise. Now an author of seven amazing titles, her books span a myriad of topics — from a fantastic Snow White retelling to an acclaimed novel on keys (both literal and metaphorical).
Best known for: Boy, Snow, Bird ($10)
5. Sarah Waters: A resident of London and often named one of Britain’s best young novelists (she’s been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize THREE times), Sarah’s best known for her Victorian society novels featuring iconic lesbian protagonists.
Best known for: Fingersmith ($10)
6. Donna Tartt: Named one of TIME’s Most Influential People in 2014 (alongside the likes of Hillary Clinton and Beyoncé, FYI) and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, there’s no wonder why this powerhouse girlboss made our list. She uses a unique prose based on 19th-century literature and her books often touch on themes of social class. Her third novel, The Goldfinch, was one of the most talked-about books in 2014 and is soon to be a feature film. Get it, girl!
Best known for: The Goldfinch ($12)
7. Eleanor Catton: Born in Canada and raised in New Zealand, Eleanor Catton is an award-winning novelist with work published in a dozen languages. Not only did she win the Man Booker Prize for her 832-page novel, The Luminaries, but at 28 years old, she’s the youngest ever author to receive the award. And here we were patting ourselves on the back for choosing slacks instead of sweatpants this morning…
Best known for: The Luminaries ($11)
8. Taiye Selasi: Writer, photographer, humanitarian… Taiye Selasi is a master of all trades. Topping many best books lists with her debut hit, this Nigerian and Ghanaian girlboss is definitely one to watch for in the coming years.
Best known for: Ghana Must Go ($11)
9. Zadie Smith: Born in Northwest London in 1975, Zadie has published five novels, all of which have been critically acclaimed. Her novel White Teeth, about two wartime friends, was included in TIME magazine’s list of 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. So yeah, she’s kind of a big deal.
Best known for: White Teeth ($10)
10. Emma Donoghue: You probably know this author behind the novel that inspired the Academy Award-nominated film with the same title (and earned a Best Actress statue for star Brie Larson), but Emma has actually written nearly 20 amazing works. Winning countless awards, she’s the real deal. And yes… her newest novel, The Wonder ($17), is on our Christmas list ;)
Best known for: Room ($10)
11. Toni Morrison: Provocative, iconic and all-around inspiring, there’s a reason why Toni Morrison is an American legend. She wrote her first book, The Bluest Eye, while teaching at Howard University and raising two children (oh, and the novel went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction). Toni also received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. A weekend with one of her novels — think Song of Solomon or Beloved — will most definitely have you wanting more.
Best known for: The Bluest Eye ($9)
12. Margaret Atwood: Although many Canadians know her through assigned literature, Margaret Atwood’s literary prowess expands far beyond the classroom. With 16 novels, eight children’s books and a graphic novel under her belt (let alone winning both the Booker and the Giller prize), she’s truly an international phenomenon deserving of a space on your to-read list.
Best known for: The Handmaid’s Tale ($9)
13. Gillian Flynn: If you, like millions of Americans, have fallen in love with the twisted beauty of Gone Girl, you’re in for a treat: Gillian Flynn has a TON of other outstanding novels for you to binge. Get your spooks here, folks!
Best known for: Gone Girl ($9)
Who is your current literary obsession? Tweet us by mentioning @BritandCo!
(Featured photo via Venturelli/Getty)