5 Incredible Female Authors Who Should Be On Your “Required Reading” List

By Kevin Nelson

From the time they are born, until the time they leave this world, many women live with gendered expectations of their lives that are still being dismantled even in 2017. They are often times considered to be “weak”, simply because strength has always been defined by the masculine. Men are still regarded as the “strong” gender which has led to a lack of female voices in a number of industries. This can be clearly seen when you consider 30% of managerial posts (or slightly more, but not reaching equality) being allocated to women in the corporate world.

Despite the many awareness forums, initiatives and diverse regulations being introduced to give more visibility to women by different governments across the globe, there are still many cultural and societal stereotypes and barriers women face that men do not.

Women are generally expected to take care family members in their lives starting from when they are daughters and sisters, all the way to becoming a wife, mother, daughter-in-law and even right up to the point where they are grandmothers. With more emphasis on female empowerment and the rise of feminism and the women’s rights movement, the gender roles are being dismantled as more and more women rise up and take power in industries and areas that have for too long been male-dominated.

The women that we will look into this article have broken the bounds and used their prowess in writing to reach the masses, to mentor, educate and create a new perspective for both male and female audience, with the power that they hold in their words and ideas.

Maya Angelou

Angelou fought for civil rights through her poems

She is one of the amazing poets of her time, a renowned actress, screenwriter, civil right activist and a dancer. She is an author who has a huge award collection with more than 50 honorary degrees and is famous for her volumes of essays and poems that she’s authored and also her memoir known as “I know why the caged bird sings.”

With all this honors and publicity, Angelou fought for civil rights through her poems; in presence of a lot of adversity, she kept on getting her voice heard to support the people. Growing up in a society where racial segregation was the highlight of the day, Angelou was a victim of assault and witnessing the death of an uncle. All these traumatic events played a part in her writing because she became silent and only wrote down her feelings.

Angelou had the privilege to recite her poem “On the pulse of morning” for President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. She became the 1st African-American poet and the first female poet to recite to a United States of America president. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 for her impact in the fight for equality through poetry.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Lahiri shared her thoughts and ideas on the mental and emotional challenges immigrants face

A lady from an immigrant family, Lahiri was born in New England and raised up in South Kingstown, Rhodes Island. She learned her Indian heritage from her mother from an early age. This built up her identity and personality. She was able to graduate with multiple degrees from Boston University. Her first published works were short stories. Her first novel “Namesake” was adopted into a film after its publication.

With the current and previous increase in the number of immigrants in most European countries, Lahiri explores her thoughts and ideas with her readers to the mental and emotional condition immigrants with their children face. America, being the most multiracial country with immigrants yearly, Lahiri has championed for the importance of the citizens to be conversant and welcoming to immigrants.

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns used her characters to account for a number of America’s political historical events

Through her vivid account of a number of America’s political historical events, Doris Kearns characters will entertain and satisfy your desires. She is bringing a new concept of what people think. Her first job was as an assistant to President Johnson. Later on, she assisted in writing President Johnson’s memoir.

Kearns was able to write more pieces that placed her on the map. She wrote “No ordinary times” which was her account of Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt during World War 2. She earlier earned her Ph.D. in Government at Harvard University. With her long life service in politics, she was awarded Charles Frankel prize issued by the National Endowment for the humanities.

Toni Morrison

Morrison shared her passion for her culture and heritage as an Africa-American

Growing up in a society infected with racial injustices, Morrison studied and joined black Howard University. In her own words, she wanted to be with her fellow black intellectual. She graduated with a Bachelors in English. Later, Morrison earned her Master of Arts from Cornell University.

A young lady with a passion for her culture and heritage as an Africa-American, she wrote her stories with this perspective hence bringing the clack literature to the world. She wrote many novels: “Beloved“ one of her renowned book based on a true story of an enslaved African-American woman who tries to escape slavery and ends up killing her own daughter and captured by slave hunters before she gets to kill herself. She was awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Barbara Kingsolver

Kingsolver shared a lot about her belief it`s never too late to follow your true path in life

Kingsolver is a true definition of it’s never too late to follow your true path in life. Born and raised in Kentucky, she earned a Degree in Biology from DePauw University and partly worked as a freelance writer and author. Kingsolver started writing in her 30s. This was not a hindrance because her passion, interest, and knowledge in Biology were evident in all her work.

She focused on social activism and environmental issues. Kingsolver introduced her readers to her depth of knowledge of new things which was greatly welcome and captivated her audience. Some of her books include: “Poisonwood Bible”, “Homeland” and “The Lacuna”.

All the women shared above have gone above and beyond and shown the world or rather shared their stories and thoughts to shape different lives all over the world and have been subjects of literature review online. Even though the world has changed and more women are being more liberal, there is a need to shading light to these women not only to inspire but to guide the generations on equality, fairness, and justice. It is said that a human mind is very forgetful hence needs a constant reminder, what is the best way to do so?

It is through strong women in the society with the inbound instinct to nature and nature the present and future generations. These women have accomplished a lot in their lives, at the same time being daughters, wives, mothers and some grandmothers to be emulated. This shows that women can have it all. It is hard to ignore the manner in which such women have shed light on the current issues facing their communities and fight for what is good for the benefit of humanity.

You can read reviews of the books written by these amazing women on Blinkist if you don’t have the time to get through all of them. (For those who haven’t heard of Blinkist, this cool platform gives you key ideas from the world’s best nonfiction books in 15-minute text and audio.) According to selfaspiration.comBlinkist is a book summary service that takes the critical points from best-selling non-fiction books to make them quick and easy to digest.

If you are looking to become a writer yourself, there are resources online that provide essay writing services, book writing services, proofreading and editing, among other services to ensure that you come up with an excellent piece.

Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over 8 years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & blogging. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, Linkedin & Google+.