Female Professionals

The Best Female Authors of All Time  

Ranker Books
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List Rules Vote up the greatest women writers based on their works in all genres, including short fiction, novels, poetry, non-fiction, and essays.

Some of the most powerful, influential women in history were authors, writers, and poets. What better way to make your point, affect the world around you, inspire other women to fight for their dreams. or even just simply put your stamp on the world than to have your writing published. Who are the best female authors in history?
 
The female authors featured on this list have gone down in history as the absolute greatest women writers. Many movies have been made either from some of their works, or even based on their lives and what shaped them as a writer. This list of the best female authors has been ranked by the community. Vote up the female authors you think are the best and see how your favorites rank.
 
This list features the best female authors of all time, many of whom wrote best-selling books that are still considered classics today including, Gertrude Stein, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte,  Agatha Christie, Maya Angelou, Flannery O’Connor, and Kate Chopin. If the female writer you think is the best isn't already on the list, add her below.
list ordered by
1
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Frankenstein, Falkner
2
Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park
3
Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, A Room of One's Own
4
Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
A Witness for the Prosecution, And Then There Were None
5
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
looksharp added The complete poems, The letters, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson
6
Charlotte Brontë is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Jane Eyre, Emma
7
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Casual Vacancy
8
Harper Lee is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
To Kill a Mockingbird
9
George Eliot is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
looksharp added Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, Silas Marner, Daniel Deronda
10
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Year of the Flood, The Circle Game, Cat's Eye
11
Louisa May Alcott is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Louisa May Alcott Jo's Boys, Little Women, Little Men
12
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Jazz, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon
13
Emily Brontë is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Wuthering Heights
14
Isabel Allende is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Anna Åhlin added La casa de los espíritus, Daughter of Fortune, Eva Luna
15
Edith Wharton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Ethan Frome, The Age of Innocence
16
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Daphne du Maurier Rebecca, The Birds, Jamaica Inn
17
Shirley Jackson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Haunting of Hill House, The Lottery
18
Flannery O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Wise Blood, A Good Man Is Hard to Find
19
Sylvia Plath is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
The Bell Jar
20
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
stubb added The Color Purple, Possessing the Secret of Joy, The Temple of My Familiar
21
Mary Wollstonecraft is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
stubb added Mary Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects, Mary: A Fiction, A Vindication of the Rights of Men
22
Willa Cather is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
looksharp added Death Comes for the Archbishop, A Lost Lady, My Ántonia
23
Maya Angelou is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
I Shall Not Be Moved, The Heart of a Woman, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
24
Doris Lessing is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
stubb added The Golden Notebook, The Grass Is Singing, Shikasta
25
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Authors of All Time
Always Coming Home, The Day Before the Revolution