15 Significant Contemporary Women Writers

Posted by @ 3:35 pm on September 8th, 2009

Blake’s recent post on Towering Literary Figures inspired me to consider a list of significant contemporary (living) women writers. By significant I mean significant to me: women writers who I admire and who I feel have significantly contributed to the advancement of literature.

Perhaps someone else on the Giant staff will take up this theme and focus on writers of color, or GLBT writers, or writers from Australia, or writers with children, or writers still living with their mothers, or etc.

For the record, I understand that what I am doing here is, to a degree, essentialist: by labeling a writer based on their gender I am furthering a world in which these distinctions exist. Furthermore, I completely sympathize with the position that argues that we should not see color or sex or race or whatever, that we should instead see only writers.

But, alas, differences exist.

So, with my disclaimer now fully realized, I give you my list of contemporary women writers that I think kick a lot of ass –(in black&white and in no particular order):

Rikki Ducornet

Harryette Mullen

Lyn Hejinian

Shelley Jackson

Thalia Field

Jorie Graham

Joyelle McSweeney

Anne Carson

Aimee Bender

Jeanette Winterson

Diane Ackerman

Jenny Boully

Christine Brooke-Rose

Carole Maso

Kelly Link

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