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9 Feminist Authors Who Will Empower Your Bookshelf

Feminism, feminism, where fore art thou feminism? Hopefully, it’s right on your bookshelf. Every woman needs a handful of feminist authors on the shelf to keep her compelled, educated, and motivated to keep reaching for that glass ceiling with the intention of shattering it. There are plenty of must-reads out there for feminists, books that speak to what feminism is, what it means to be a feminist, and how to continue your education as a feminist. But what about inherently feminist authors? Writers whose beliefs and practices of feminism shine through not just a single novel geared towards the movement, but every piece of writing they produce?

It can be easy to get swept up in the land of romantic fiction, or fantasy lands where damsels in distress are rescued by a knight in shining armor. They provide an escape for you from everyday life, and ease the stress of reality. However, books that keep you in denial about the way the world really is, and losing yourself in stories where females are merely pawns in a man’s world can not only get boring, but downright depressing. Picking up a book by any one of the following authors will keep you moving forward, with feminist undertones on every page. And thank goodness for that, because we need feminist literature in every shape we can get it in.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Some know her best as the voice reciting her Ted talk about feminism in the midst of Beyoncé's smash hit "***Flawless", but make no mistake, Adichie has contributed much more to feminism than just a snippet of a speech in a Beyonce tune.

You Should Read: Americanah, We Should All Be Feminists, That Thing Around Your Neck, Half of a Yellow Sun


Jeanette Winterson

An award-winning English writer, Winterson's novels are known for diving into the ideas of gender polarity, and exploring sexual identity.

You Should Read: Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, Written on the Body, The Powerbook, Lighthousekeeping, The Stone Gods, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?


Jeannette Walls

A phenomenal writer with an incredible life story, you'll soon be able to Walls' work on the big screen. Brie Larson will be starring in the adapatation of her memoir.

You Should Read: The Glass Castle, Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel


bell hooks

hooks is a world renowned feminist, known for writing, speaking, and focusing on the intersectionality of feminism. Race, capitalism, gender, oppression, hooks covers it all.

You Should Read: Ain't I A Woman?: Black Women and Feminism, Belonging: A Culture of Place, Feminism Is For Everybody: Passionate Politics


Mindy Kaling

Your favorite sassafras isn't just serving comedy as a hot dish, she's serving fierce feminism, too. Whether you're a fan of the show, or you've read her books... Kaling's got a knack for empowering women.

You Should Read: Why Not Me?, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)


Janet Mock

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Author, advocate, and TV host, Mock is a woman who is changing the game. A contributing editor at Marie Claire, she also hosts her own show on MSNBC, So POPular! Mock is a transgender rights activist who is changing the narrative, and opening doors for those who are following in her footsteps.

You Should Read: Redefining Realness


Roxane Gay

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Best known for her most recent work, Bad Feminist, Gay made waves by openly stating the fact that she's, well, a bad feminist. Creating a narrative for women to be perfectly imperfect, she's paved the way for a new generation of feminists.

You Should Read: Bad Feminist, An Untamed State, The Butter


J. Courtney Sullivan

A former writer for the New York Times, Sullivan has penned a number of essays on feminism, as well as three fictional novels. The woman is a force of nature.

You Should Read: Commencement, The Engagements, Maine, Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists


Jessica Valenti

The founder of Feministing, the publishing world often attributes Valenti with bringing feminism into the world of online publishing. She calls herself a "feminist evangelist". What's not to love?

You Should Read: Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape, The Guardian, Sex Object: A Memoir