When looking at the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, America's National Book Award, and the Booker Prize, you will notice that the female winners are densely packed into the last 30 years. While that could be seen as a sign of promise, the imbalance is still glaringly obvious which strikes me as odd considering the wealth of literary talent among women. I set out to create a list of 50 essential female authors, and upon hitting 50 in under five minutes I decided to shoot for 100. It wasn't a hard list to fill - what was hard was choosing just 100. I cringe to think of the names that were omitted.
How do we change this? We start with the obvious - we read women. If that's step one, then step two is to talk about them - to review them, to critique them, to press their books into the hands of our book-loving friends. Whatever stage you're at in the endeavor to read more women, here are 100 talented female authors to get you started or keep you going.