Monday, December 5, 2016

Five Favourite Women Authors

My love of books is by no means hidden, but I most often focus on what I've read month by month rather than what I love overall. I don't usually find myself drawn to genres but rather diction, the choice of words and the way they fall across the page to tell a story or relay an emotion. I'm more loyal to authors than I am to story types; I fall in love with how an author writes more than what they write. And so, I've put together a list of the five women authors I love most (my five favourite male authors will follow later).

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Favourite work // Americanah
Most people probably know Adichie from her popular TED talks "We Should All Be Feminists" and "The Danger of a Single Story," but her books are also incredible. Growing up in Nigeria and spending much of her adult life in the US has given Adichie a unique perspective on each country's culture, and her novels and short stories play on these differences. Her works usually feature young adults finding their way in their culture amidst shocking backgrounds, such as the Biafran War.

Jane Austen
Favourite work // Pride & Prejudice
One of England's most popular writers, Austen wrote at the turn of the 18th century and centres her works on romance amongst the English social classes. Austen's works are not the average old-fashioned love stories however, as, particularly in the cases of Pride & Prejudice and Emma, they provide a satirical look at the subject matter. I particularly enjoy her works for their linguistic subtleties; you won't find outright vulgarity or shouting in her dialogue, but rather cleverly worded insults used to make a point.

Gillian Flynn
Favourite work // Gone Girl
Similar to most readers, I first discovered Flynn through Gone Girl. I'm not easily surprised by literary twists but I was so impressed by the plot reveal in Gone Girl and the conversations the book has sparked re: feminism that I had to read her other works. Her books prove to be interesting studies in female characters, as she creates such complex, morally ambiguous characters. Her impressive crafting of characters is noteworthy for a genre that all too often relegates women to one-dimensional side characters.

Elizabeth Kostova
Favourite work // The Historian
Of all the authors on this list, Kostova has been my favourites the longest yet has written the fewest works. She's released only two books - The Historian and The Swan Thieves - but both are so well written that she's earned a permanent place in my favourites. The Historian was the first sprawling, multigenerational tales I read and sparked my love of the genre. Her writing style is so captivating and detailed that despite some plot deficiencies her books remain some of my favourites.

Donna Tartt
Favourite work // The Secret History
I stumbled onto Tartt's works quite by accident; I checked out a copy of The Secret History from my local library based on its blurb on the inside jacket cover, and only later realised its popularity and cult following. Tartt's works are intriguing; her characters are typically despicable people committing abhorrent acts, yet the plots are so compelling that her books are almost compulsive reading. Tartt's works can be dense and lengthy - these are no flippant reads - but they are worth the attention and effort they require.

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