Women Writers for Women’s Month

March! The beginning of spring, home of St. Patrick’s Day and Pi Day, and (most importantly for this article) International Women’s Month. Though International Women’s Day may have already passed, I thought it would still be appropriate to celebrate the month by honoring and recommending a few of my favorite classic female writers.

Mary Shelley

Most people have probably heard of Mary Shelley before. The daughter of prominent feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and the mother of the sci-fi genre, Shelley wrote the famous “Frankenstein” and “The Modern Prometheus” which almost, if not everyone, is familiar with. I have met many people who say they hated the novel after reading it in high school, yet the book remains one of my absolute favorites. I love Shelley’s prose even if it can be flowery and convoluted at times. I also really appreciate the meditation on the moral and ethical responsibilities of humans as science develops.

Jane Austen

Austen is another author that many are familiar with, but one that is taught less in schools (in my experience). Austen is remembered for her romance novels, such as “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma.” Once again, though Austen may not always be concise, I truly love her style of writing and find her novels to be some of the most fun novels to read.

Some do complain that because there is little action in the novels, the stories are boring; however, I am always up for a story where the stakes are low. Almost everything I read is a meditation on the human mind and questions the forces of the universe; it is very fun for me to read about the inconsequential interpersonal drama of fictional rich people in Regency England.

Emily Dickinson

I do understand when other people express frustration with reading Dickinson’s poetry. She was experimental with her writing and it can make even the most dedicated poetry lovers(including myself) frustrated. However, there are moments where I am looking for a challenge and Dickinson’s poetry is always a good one. Though many are not extremely conducive for a quick read, they can be fun when only one poem is focused on for an extended period of time. 

Charlotte Perkins Gillman

This is probably the name that readers will be least familiar with on this list despite the fact that it is likely that they have read her work. Her most famous work is a short story titled “The Yellow Wallpaper.” This short story is often taught in schools (where most people remember it from) and for good reason: it is an absolutely gorgeous and disturbing short story with an unreliable narrator slowly descending into madness. 

I hope these wonderful writers with their beautiful writing are able to further brighten up your month.

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