Throughout our history there have been many prominent people that have cemented their names in culture and literature as effective and influential icons. Today we celebrate those who rose to fame through writing, and through their books that were able to cause change and disseminate influence. Here we celebrate authors, female authors, with 20 of the best books ever written by a woman.
Academic Book Week, a website based in England, has launched a list entitled 20 Academic Books by Women that Changed the World. They gathered the opinions of British academics to select the top-notch collection of books that had significant effects in history.
So, if you’re looking for a good read that actually has something important to say, check your favourite from the reputable list that includes Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley, the original story of Frankenstein’s Monster. Shelley started writing the book at age 18 and, two years later, it was published anonymously in London. It was only until 1823 that her name first appeared on the book, when the second edition came out in France.
Academic Book Week also polled their audience to rank the top 10 of those 20 books. The top three on the list were The Diary of a Young Girl (1947) by Anne Frank in third place, which documents the experiences of the young Frank, based on her diary in the two years she was in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. In second place comes A Room of One’s Own (1929) by Virginia Woolf, which was based on an essays that she wrote after a series of lectures she delivered in Newnham College and Girton College. Her book is largely considered a feminist publication, discussing the space of women in the literary world dominated by men.
Finally, in first place we have Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (2017) by Reni Eddo-Lodge. The book started as a post on Reni’s blog in 2014, where she talked about the apathy some white people have towards people of colour expressing their experience with racism, she says, “You can see their eyes shut down and harden. It’s like treacle is poured into their ears, blocking up their ear canals. It’s like they can no longer hear us.” While this was Reni’s debut book, she has received wide acclaim for her writings, namely by the 2015 Booker Prize winner, Marlon James, who said “This is a book that was begging to be written. This is the kind of book that demands a future where we’ll no longer need such a book. Essential.”
So, pick your favourite and get reading. It’s vital to keep updated and keep the mind working.