Last month, I posted about my favorite non-fiction books for women. This month I asked a bunch of my writer friends to send me their suggestions for fiction novel must-reads for every woman. Here are some of the novels that made the list. Read them all, and then buy your favorites as gifts for your women friends!
Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston is a classic and powerful Southern love story. One friend told me that Janie (the protagonist) is still one of her literary heroes. Another friend told me that she first read the book in a college literature class, and she’ll never forget when she encountered the passage about the peach tree blooming.
, the inaugural novel by Marilynne Robinson is about family drama, loss, longing, loving and loneliness. Also read Robinson’s later novel Gilead
, which won a Pulitzer Prize.
Written by Nobel Prize winner, Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
is a meditation on beauty and conformity. Also read Morrison’s Sula
. Quite simply, you can never go wrong with a Toni Morrison book.
The Handmaids Tale
by Margaret Atwood is set in a fictional near-future where women aren’t allowed money, jobs or knowledge. This novel is a satire and warning. More importantly, it’s a must-read. For those of you who like Twitter, you can also find Atwood there where she tweets often and is every bit the writer-activist, even with only 140 characters.
Bastard Out of Carolina
by Dorothy Allison is a heart-wrenching story of a poor family in South Carolina. Women I know who love this book say it’s nearly perfect.
For those of you who appreciate the unusual, read Why Did I Ever
by Mary Robison. It’s a story of a middle-aged working mom who struggles to keep it together despite her grown kids’ problems and her own. This novel is constructed out of fragmented paragraphs, which reads dark, funny and crazy – kind of like real life.
Written by the same author as the The Color Purple
, Alice Walker, The Temple of My Familiar
is a love story, a fable and a feminist manifesto all rolled into one riveting read. What could be better?