100 Books by American Women:

Fiction, Memoir, & Poetry

Celebrating Women’s Voices honors books that the WNBA community considers to be the most influential penned by American women. The fiction/memoir/poetry list is available below and in PDF form. To view the nonfiction list, click here

Gornick, Vivian. Fierce Attachments: A Memoir. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1987, 2005 reprint).

Graham, Katherine. Personal History. (Vintage, 1997, 1998 reprint).

 

Grandin, Temple. Thinking in Pictures: And Other Reports from My Life with Autism. (Vintage, 1995, 2006 expanded).

 

Highsmith, Patricia. Strangers on a Train. (W. W. Norton, 1950, 2001 reprint).

 

Hoffman, Eva. Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language. (Penguin, 1989, 1990 reprint).

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. (Harper Perennial, 1937, 2006 reprint).

Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery and Other Stories. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1948, 2005 reprint).

Jacobs, Harriet. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. (Dover, 1861, 2001 reprint).

 

Jefferson, Margo. Negroland: A Memoir.(Vintage, 2015, 2016 reprint).

 

Karr, Mary. The Liar's Club. (Penguin, 1995, 2005).

 

Keller, Helen. The Story of My Life. (Dover, 1903, 1996 reprint).

Kingsolver, Barbara. The Lacuna: A Novel. (Harper Perennial, 2009, 2010 reprint).

Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. (Vintage, 1976, 1989 reprint).

 

Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Namesake. (Mariner, 2003, 2004 reprint).

Larsen, Nella. Passing. (Penguin Classics, 1929, 2003 reprint).

 

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. (Grand Central Publishing, 1960, 1988).

Le Guin, Ursula K. The Left Hand of Darkness. (Ace Books, 1969, 1987 reprint).

 

Levertov, Denise. Breathing the Water. (New Directions, 1987).

Lorde, Audre. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name: A Biomythography. (Crossing Press, 1982).

McCarthy, Mary. Memories of a Catholic Girlhood. (Harcourt, 1957, 1972 reprint).

 

McCullers, Carson. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. (Mariner, 1940, 2000 reprint).

Millay, Edna St. Vincent. The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver. (Modern Library, 1922, 2002 reprint).

 

Min, Anchee. Red Azalea. (Anchor Books, 1994, 2006 reprint).

Mitchell, Margaret. Gone with the Wind. (Pocket Books, 1936, 2008 reprint).

 

Moore, Marianne. Becoming Marianne Moore: The Early Poems, 1907-1924. (University of California Press, 2002).

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. (Vintage, 1970, 2007 reprint).

Naylor, Gloria. The Women of Brewster Place. (Penguin, 1982, 1983 reprint).

O’Connor, Flannery. A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories. (Mariner, 1955, 1977 reprint).

Oates, Joyce Carol. We Were the Mulvaneys. (Plume, 1996, 1997 reprint).

 

Olds, Sharon. Stag's Leap: Poems. (Knopf, 2012).

 

Oliver, Mary. Dream Work. (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986).

 

Olsen, Tillie. Tell Me a Riddle. (Bison Books, 1961, 2013 reprinted).

Otsuka, Julie. The Buddha in the Attic. (Anchor, 2011, 2012 reprint).

 

Ozeki, Ruth. A Tale for the Time Being. (Penguin, 2013).

 

Ozick, Cynthia. The Shawl. (Vintage, 1980, 1990 reprint).

Paley, Grace. Enormous Changes at the Last Minute: Stories. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1974, 1985 reprint).

 

Parker, Dorothy. Complete Stories. (Penguin, 1995, 2003 reprint).

 

Patchett, Ann. Commonwealth.(HarperCollins, 2016).

 

Piercy, Marge. The Longings of Women. (Fawcett Columbine, 1994).

 

Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 1963, 2013).

 

Porter, Katherine Anne. The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter. (Harvest, 1965, 1979 reprint).

 

Prose, Francine. Household Saints. (Open Road Media, 1981, 2016 reprint).

 

Rankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric. (Graywolf Press, 2014).

 

Rich, Adrienne. Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972. (W. W. Norton, 1973, 2013 reprint).

Robinson, Marilynne. Housekeeping. (Picador, 1980, 2004 reprint).

 

Schwartz, Lynne Sharon. Leaving Brooklyn. (Hawthorne Books, 1989, 2007 reprint).

 

Sexton, Anne. Live or Die. (Houghton Mifflin, 1966).

 

Shange, Nitozake. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. (Scribner, 1975, 2010 reprint).

 

Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. (Penguin, 1977, 2006 reprint).

 

Smiley, Jane. A Thousand Acres. (Anchor, 1991, 2003 reprint).

Smith, Patti. Just Kids. (Ecco, 2010).

 

Sotomayor, Sonia. My Beloved World.(Vintage, 2013, 2014 reprint).

 

Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives. (Dover, 1909, 2011 reprint).

 

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly. (Dover, 1852, 2005 reprint).

 

Strout, Elizabeth. Olive Kitteridge. (Random House, 2008).

 

Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. (Penguin, 1989, 2006 reprint).

 

Tartt, Donna. The Goldfinch. (Little, Brown and Company, 2013, 2016 reprint).

 

Trethewey, Natasha. Native Guard.(Mariner, 2006, 2007 reprint).

 

Tyler, Anne. Breathing Lessons. (Ballantine Books, 1988, 2005 reprint).

 

Waldman, Anne. Fast Speaking Woman: Chants & Essays. (City Lights, 1975, 2001).

 

Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. (Mariner, 1970, 2003 reprint).

 

Walls, Jeannette. The Glass Castle: A

Memoir. (Scribner, 2005, 2006 reprint).

 

Ward, Jesmyn. Salvage the Bones.(Bloomsbury, 2011, 2012 reprint).

 

Welty, Eudora. The Optimist’s Daughter. (Vintage International, 1969, 1990 reprint).

 

Wharton, Edith. The House of Mirth. (Dover, 1905, 2002 reprint).

 

Williams, Joy. Ninety-Nine Stories of God. (Tin House Books, 2013, 2016 reprint).

 

Yezierska, Anzia. The Bread Givers. (Persea, 1925, 2003 third edition).

Selection committee: Rosalind Reisner, chair; Brenda Knight and Harriet Shenkman, with input from members of WNBA chapters across the country.

Sample Titles
Entire Fiction, Memoir, & Poetry List

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. Americanah. (Anchor, 2013, 2014 reprint).

Ahmed, Leila. A Border Passage: From Cairo to America--A Woman’s Journey. (Penguin, 1999, 2012 reprint).

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women.  (Barnes & Noble Classics, 1868, 2004 reprint).

 

Allende, Isabel. The Japanese Lover: A Novel. (Atria, 2015, 2016 reprint).

 

Allison, Dorothy. Bastard Out of Carolina: A Novel. (Penguin, 1992, 2012 reprint).

Arana, Marie. American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood.  (Delta, 2001, 2002 reprint).

 

Alvarez, Julia. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. (Algonquin Books, 1991, 2010 reprint).

Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. (Ballantine Books, 1969, 2009 reprint).

Beattie, Ann. The State We're In: Maine Stories. (Scribner, 2015).

Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. (Mariner, 2006, 2007 reprint).

 

Bishop, Elizabeth. The Complete Poems: 1927-1979. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1969, 1983 reprint).

 

Boylan, Jennifer Finney. She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders. (Broadway Books, 2003, 2013 reprint).

Brooks, Gwendolyn. Annie Allen. (Harper Perennial, 1949, 2006 republished).

Brown, Rita Mae. Rubyfruit Jungle. (Bantam, 1973, 2015 reprint).

Buck, Pearl S. The Good Earth. (Washington Sq. Press, 1931, 2004 reprint).

Cather, Willa. My Antonia. (Dover, 1918, 1994 reprint).

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. (Dover, 1899, 1993 reprint).

 

Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. (Vintage, 1984, 1991).

Clinton, Hillary Rodham. Hard Choices. (Simon & Schuster, 2014, 2015 reprint).

 

Danticat, Edwidge. Breath, Eyes, Memory. (Soho Press, 1994, 2015).

 

Dickinson, Emily. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. (Back Bay Books, 1924, 1960 reprint).

 

di Prima, Diane. Revolutionary Letters.(City Lights, 1971).

Dove, Rita. On the Bus with Rosa Parks: Poems. (W.W. Norton, 1999, 2000 reprint).

Egan, Jennifer. A Visit from the Goon Squad. (Anchor, 2010, 2011 reprint).

Ephron, Nora. Heartburn. (Vintage, 1983, 1996 reprint).

Erdrich, Louise. The Round House. (Harper Perennial, 2012, 2013 reprint).

French, Marilyn. The Women’s Room: A Novel. (Penguin, 1977, 2009 reprint).

Jen, Gish. The Love Wife. (Vintage, 2004, 2005 reprint).

 

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories. (Dover, 1892, 1997 reprint).

Giovanni, Nikki. Love Poems. (William Morrow, 1997).

 

Glück, Louise. Faithful and Virtuous Night: Poems. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014, 2015 reprint).

Goodman, Allegra. Kaaterskill Falls. (Delta, 1998, 1999 reprint).

 

Gordon, Mary. Final Payments. (Anchor, 1978, 2006 reprint).

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