March 8th, 2011 / 7:33 pm
Massive People

It’s International Women’s Day 2011!

What follows is a list of writers who amaze me.

Locals: Roxane GayEvelyn HamptonLily HoangKristen IskandrianCatherine LaceyChelsea MartinAmy McDanielAlissa NuttingAlexis OrgeraJackie Wang

Notables: Amelia Gray • Aimee Bender • Judy Budnitz • Trinie Dalton • Christine Schutt • Jac Jemc • Lydia Millet • Catie Rosemurgy • Claire Donato • Renata Adler • Leni Zumas • Eudora Welty • Eileen Myles • Amber Sparks • Flannery O’Connor • Joyelle McSweeney • Jackie Corley • Patricia Highsmith • Ellen Bryan Voigt • Mary Ruefle • Myla Goldberg • Karen Russel. Carolyn Chute • Kathrine Dunn • Mary Miller • Kate Walbert • Amy Hempel • Amanda Filipacchi • Tillie Olsen • Joanna Howard • Claudia Smith • Melissa Broder • Grace Paley • Katherine Anne Porter • Pagan Kennedy • Suzanne Burns • Victoria Blake • Sandy Florian • Shirley Jackson • Emily Dickinson • Marcy Dermansky • Lorrie Moore • Kate Bernheimer • Alice Munro • Kim Chinquee • Francine Prose • Janet Frame • Brandi Wells • Robin Romm • Mary Robison • Antonya Nelson • Rosalynde Vas Dias • Sheila Heti • Amy Fusselman • Samantha Hunt • Harper Lee • Lucy Corin • Mavis Gallant • Robin Elizabeth Black • Diane Williams • Adria Bernardi • Stacey D’Erasmo • Frayn Masters • Heather McHugh • Cynthia Ozick • Christine Fadden • Ariana Reines • Laura Hendrie • Kelly Link • Stevie Smith • Hannah Tinti • Kathryn Regina • Rachel Sherman • Nelly Reifler • Stacey Levine • Rebecca Curtis • Stacey Richter • Amy Minton • Carol Emshwiller • Rebecca Solnit • Lydia Davis • Ann Cummins • Kathy Acker • Marianne Moore • Dawn Raffel • Chelsey Minnis • Susan Minot • Angela Carter • Lindsay Hunter • Gina Berriault • Lynne Tillman • Anna Clark • Lore Segal • Sarah Shun-lien Bynum • Carole Maso • Kristina Born • Paula Bomer • Terese Svoboda • Emily Kendal Frey • Karen Brennan • Mary Gaitskill • Elisa Gabbert • Susan Neville • Grace Krilanovich • Yannick Murphy • Muriel Spark • Gertrude Stein • Deb Olin Unferth • Shelley Jackson • Sara Manguso • Joy Williams • Katy Lederer • Jayne Anne Phillips • Heather Christle • Courtney Eldridge • Rachel Glaser • A.M. Homes • Susan Howe • Miranda Mellis • Eileen Gunn • Dorothea Lasky • Rebecca Brown • Deborah Eisenberg • Pia Ehrhardt • Elizabeth Ellen • xTx • Andrea Kneeland • Kendra Grant Malone • Ellen Kennedy • Alicia Jo Rabins • Alix Ohlin • Laura van den Berg • Rebecca Wolff • Karen Finneyfrock • Carson McCullers • Anne Boyer • Molly Gaudry • Laynie Browne • Vanessa Place • Maggie Nelson

Many are alive and would probably be happy to submit something to The New Yorker. So, if you work at The New Yorker, take a look.

I feel sort of like I might just delete any comment to this post that doesn’t begin with at least ten more for the list.


Was adding commented names, but realized you can just see them in the comments. Strong names in the comments section so far.

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  1. darby

      I agree with deb Olin unferth being in the list twice. Also add if not in there Juliette cook Lillian Bertram cami fucking park Kim Parko Anne Marie Rooney Brandi wells infinite etc

  2. Matthew Simmons

      Wells was there. Added yr adds.

  3. davidpeak

      i’d like to add kate zambreno. is she on there? she’s been making my week seem okay.

  4. stephen
  5. Ryan Call

      second kim parko.

      add alexandra chasin please.

  6. stephen
  7. Daniel Bailey

      anne carson, bernadette mayer, sasha steensen, lyn hejinian. that was off the top of my head.

  8. Matthew Simmons

      Got it.

  9. Matthew Simmons

      Got ’em.

  10. Matthew Simmons

      Just realized that when you hit “More,” you see all the comments, anyway. So, no real reason to update the post. Silly me.

  11. Matthew Simmons

      Funnily enough, I didn’t mention Dorothy Parker.

      So, Dorothy Parker.

      And Don Mee Choi.

  12. a.m. conrad

      You should add Renee Gladman and Danielle Dutton. Respectively, author involved with and editor of the Dorothy Project, the excellent women-centric publishing venture.

  13. a.m. conrad
  14. Amber

      Mina Loy! Lindsay Hunter! Susan Daitch! Ethel Rohan! Grace Paley! Amy King! Lauren Becker! The Brontes! Yay for this post and yay for Matthew Simmons. This list makes me happy.

  15. stephen
  16. Matthew Simmons
  17. Roxane

      I would add Alicia Erian, Tayari Jones, Tanya Jarrett, Lidia Yuknavitch, Cheryl Strayed, Sarah Rose Etter, Susie Bright, Jonterri Gadson, and Kirsty Logan.

  18. Matthew Simmons

      Just gonna “like” comments like mad from here on in.

  19. Shannon

      Bell Hooks, Nikki Giovanni, Patti Smith, Kate Bornstein, Jillian Lauren, Darcy Steinke (I may have spelled her name wrong)

  20. Matt Briggs

      I would add: Iris Murdoch, Margaret Atwood, Melissa Pritchard, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Zadie Smith, Ursula K. Leguin, Joyce Thompson, Margaret Wise Brown, Betty McDonald, Octavia Butler, and Ann Carson.

  21. Roxane

      Almost forgot. Dylan Landis.

  22. Mark Doten

      heather lewis. her novel “notice” is one of the best and most brutal things i’ve ever read.

  23. Mark Doten

      elizabeth hardwick, jane bowles

  24. Mark Doten

      mary caponegro

  25. Mark Doten

      mary caponegro

  26. Inspiry in places and reading around the web. « About that Writing thing.

      […] International Woman’s Day and HTMLGIANT has a really good women author post. Go read that here. Add to the […]

  27. chet

      donna tart

  28. chet

      donna tart

  29. chet


  30. chet


  31. Gabe Durham

      Lorrie Moore (not on there, right?), Sarah Norek, Anne Lamott, Noy Holland, Ingeborg Bachman, Marilyn Robinson, CD Wright, Shellie Zacharia, Emily Toder, Elizabeth Crane

  32. Matthew Simmons

      (She’s there. No harm in doubles, though.)

  33. Madison Langston

      Heather Streckfus-Green, Daniela Olszewska, Porochista Khakpour, Lina Miguel, Lara Glenum

      oh and Simone de Beauvoir!

  34. letters journal

      Fuck yeah Elizabeth Hardwick.

  35. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      Kathleen Rooney, Dodie Bellamy, Sapphire, Arundhati Roy, Mary Hamilton, Amina Cain, Kathy Fish, Kuzhali Manickavel, Rikki Ducornet, Ito Hiromi, Meg Pokrass, Paula Fox, Jeanette Winterson

  36. Dylan Hicks

      Great list and addenda. Maybe I’m reading too sloppily but it seems the 19th century is being slighted: George Eliot, the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Mary Shelley. Of course this could go on till next year.

  37. Dylan Hicks

      Oh, I guess someone just cited the Brontes (and all the others, no doubt).

      Aphra Behn should be there somewhere.

  38. AM
  39. Tim Jones-Yelvington
  40. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      Rachel’s on the original list, she was one of the people I used to the find feature to double check for.

  41. Dylan Hicks

      Anne at last on an equal footing.

  42. deadgod

      Sandra Cisneros is a wonderful novelist and poet. Susan is there, but so should Fanny Howe be, whose In the Middle of Nowhere is an “amazing” novel. The late Veronica Forrest-Thomson wrote superb poetry that I’m surprised isn’t mentioned more at HTMLG.

      I think Penelope Fitzgerald wrote novels as well as any of her peers. Elizabeth Bishop?

      Akhmatova ‘or’ Tsvetaeva – if you don’t take both, yer an idjit.

      Surprised not to find Zora Neale Hurston (probably missed her twice), whose There Eyes Were Watching God is the peer of faulknerhemingwayfitzgerald. I’m a big Willa Cather fan; Death Comes for the Archbishop is a great book.

      For the historically inclined: Jane Austen is, ironically, becoming a neglected classic – ‘ironically’ because of the popularity of her screenplays. Aphra Behn wrote an okay novel in English before Richardson or Defoe, and wrote drama as well as Dryden. Anne Finch was a poetic peer of Pope. Anna Laetitia Barbauld wrote poems at least as well as the mostly-overrated Romantics.

      And where is the Tenth Muse???:

      The moon has set
      and the Pleiades, and mid
      night, and the hour passes and passes alongside,
      and I am lying down here alone.

  43. deadgod

      Villette is beautifully written. I hope I’m not the only Charlotte fan in the world who thinks Emily is overrated.

  44. deadgod

      Mary Ann Evans is a strong, sharp call.

  45. Kimthomas73

      Glad to see Carole Maso! I would like to add Katherine Mansfield and Kate Braverman.

  46. letters journal

      Classics: Simone Weil, Rosa Luxemberg, Elizabeth Hardwick, Susan Griffin, Diana di Prima, Anne Carson, Hilda Doolittle, Elaine Dundy

      Newish: Erin Keane, Danielle Evans, Marcy Dermansky, Tatyana Tolstaya

  47. John Minichillo

      Joyce Carol Oates. Alice Walker. ZZ Packer. Louise Erdrich.

  48. Tim Horvath

      Marilyn Bowering. Elizabeth Tallent. Mary Butts. Tina May Hall. Heidi Julavits. Rebecca Makkai.

  49. Kevin Sampsell

      You’ll be adding Myriam Gurba on your list soon. Just wait. Her chapbook is due out next month. Matthew–you ever see Michelle Tea read, or Beth Lisick. They are dynamite! And what about Miriam Toews and Trinie Dalton?

  50. Justin

      Darcey Steinke
      Ange Mlinko
      Martha Serpas
      AM Homes
      Mary Ruefle

  51. Kate

      chris kraus
      pamela lu
      gail scott
      catherine mavrikakis
      rachel levitsky
      anna kavan
      unica zurn
      elsa morante
      elfriede jelinek

  52. William

      Hillary Mantel, Selah Saterstrom, Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, seconding Darcey Steinke, Ursula le Guin, Jeanette Winterson, Hope Larson, Alison Bechdel, Heather McHugh, Jena Osman, Suzanne Collins, Susanna Clarke

  53. Justin

      I can’t believe I forgot Winterson. She is my favorite author of alltime probably.

  54. brittany wallace

      banana yoshimoto

  55. James Yeh

      Good stuff. You’ve got a lot of my faves–O’Connor, Davis, Tillman, Unferth, Williams (Joy and Diane)…

      But you’ve forgotten Clarice Lispector and Joan Didion(!) (Lispector’s “The Fifth Story” is one of my favorite short stories of all time.)

      And to second Stephen, yeah, Woolf… and to second the person who said Willa Cather.

      And two who we’re publishing in Gigantic #3 and who I think people will want to be on the look out for, Chloe Cooper Jones and Anelise Chen.

  56. James Yeh

      Also, Heidi Julavits and Vendela Vida, simply for being 2/3 of the force that started The Believer.

  57. Anna Clark

      Lynn Nottage, Nadine Gordimer, Kate DiCamillo, Alina Bronsky, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Lori Ostlund, Katie Bowler, Adrienne Rich, Mary McCarthy, Muriel Rukeyser, Wendy Wasserstein, Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, Arundhati Roy,

  58. Chantel

      Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Téa Obreht, Reese Okyong Kwon, Randa Jarrar, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Melinda Moustakis, Drew Grant, Elif Batuman, Firoozeh Dumas, Azadeh Moaveni !!!

  59. MFBomb

      I know Melinda. She recently won the FOC award for her collection, “Bear Down, Bear North,” which will be out in the Fall of 2011 from UGA Press. The stories are set in Alaska. Be sure to check it out, y’all.

  60. Chantel

      Yes! I read “Some Other Animal” in the latest ASF and so look forward to that collection.

  61. MFBomb

      Caroline Gordon (forgotten Southern writer from the Modernist era), Kathryn Davis, Jaimy Gordon, Stephanie Vaughn, and Selah Saterstrom.

  62. MFBomb

      Me too. HTMLGiant should review it when it comes out…..

  63. Sarah Malone

      Allegra Goodman, Dana Spiotta, Amanda Davis, Yiyun Li, Elizabeth Bowen, Rebecca West, Heather Christle, Ann Beattie, Mavis Gallant, Caitlin Horrocks

  64. Regina

      Yes! to Tillie Olsen & Grace Paley. Overlooked by too many.

  65. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      I prefer to watch Kate Bush dance on the moors.

  66. jimmy

      You forgot a few… Lisa Jarnot, Caroline Bergvall, Sarah Vap, Jenny Erpenbeck, Jessica Treat, Maira Kalman, Donna Stonecipher, Merce Rodoreda, Sawako Nakayasu, Mairead Byrne, Tove Jansson, Brenda Hillman, Maria Dermout, Barbara Comyns, Edna O’Brien, Marguerite Yourcenar, Marguerite Duras, Diana Wynne Jones, Ana Bozicevic, Allison Benis White, Inger Christensen, Eleni Sikelianos, Madeleine L’Engle, Gwendolyn Brooks, Gabriela Mistral, Amelie Nothomb, Magda Szabo, Fran Ross, Can Xue, Rose Macaulay, Sue Hubbell, Isak Dinesen, Marjorie Welish, Beverly Dahlen, Dubravka Ugrešić, Mary Webb, Lorine Niedecker, Lisa Robertson, Eileen Chang, Laura Riding Jackson, Olga Tokarczuk, Maria Barbal, Carmen Laforet, Violette Leduc, Elena Garro, Marian Engel, Linda Lê, Sophie Calle, Heather McGowan, Adelheid Duvanel, Helen DeWitt, JK Rowling, Nella Larsen, Betty Smith, گلی ترقی , Barbara Newhall Follett, Shahrnush Parsipur, Forough Farrokhzad, Cora Sandel, Dawn Lundy Martin, Beryl Markham, Kira Henehan, Ingrid Winterbach, Dara Horn, Gail Hareven, Wendy Walker, Keri Hulme, Stella Gibbons, Barbara Pym, Ellen Raskin, Rosemarie Waldrop, Christine Hume, Diane Glancy, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Barbara Guest, Jean Valentine, Sylvia Plath, H.D., Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Cole Swensen, Marjane Satrapi, Leslie Scalapino…

  67. M. Kitchell

      time to frenchify this shit up:

      danielle collobert
      anne-maria albiach
      dominique fourcade
      natalie saurrate
      marguerite duras (damn, can’t believe this ain’t on here already)
      liliane giraudon
      marie redonnet
      chantal chawaf
      jacqueline risset
      nicole brossard
      marie darrieussecq
      alina reyes
      jean/jeanne de berg (aka of catherine robbe-grillet)
      pauline reage (aka domininque aury)

      and not french but sort of french-y
      agota kristof
      margarita karapanou

      and she’s already been listed but ANNA KAVAN should be listed 100 times

  68. deadgod

      I’d like to add some ‘names’ that I feel bad about having forgotten yesterday.

      Kiki Dimoula is an “amazing” Greek poet; more of her poetry should be translated into English, and, if she wins the Big Prize, I’m sure that’ll happen. – as it did with Wislawa Szymborska, also a fine poet. Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke writes excellent poetry in Greek and translates Greek poetry (including her own) quite well into English.

      Jennifer Johnston is a wonderful Irish novelist, surprisingly less well-known here in the US than she should be, considering the (to me) well-deserved attention Trevor and, on this very list, O’Brien get here.

  69. Alban Fischer

      Great list. I don’t believe anyone mentioned Fleur Jeggy? Story: When I met the poet Diane Wakoski, I told her that when I was young she was one of the first poets I really acquainted myself with (which is true). And she shot me this look that said: “Don’t bullshit me. I’m a woman poet. Young men don’t read women poets.”

  70. Trey

      Julia Cohen, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Ally Harris, Julie Doxsee, Emily Pettit, Claire Becker

      yay! I feel as if I’m forgetting important people here, though

  71. jesusangelgarcia

      Way too late to this party, but what a party! Love this list. And the adds. I didn’t see the frightening power woman Elfriede Jelinek, nor trailblazer Anais Nin, nor pioneer Sappho. Lest we forget. Thanks for this, Matthew and everyone. What a resource.

  72. deadgod

      Psappho hasn’t been forgotten, jesus; she is Plato’s Tenth Muse. I spy Jelinek and Nin, too. – among a blizzard of ‘names’, half and more of which I haven’t heard of (or don’t remember). Were there world enough, and time . . .

  73. jesusangelgarcia

      Good to know, deadgod. Ja, blizzard & time… per favore.

  74. mimi

      I love this.

  75. barry

      heather o neill, heather fowler, kim parko, roxane gay, lydia copeland, kathy fish

  76. barry

      bonnie jo campbell, erin pringle, lindsay hunter, mary hamilton, alexandra isacson,

  77. Matthew Simmons

      Some wonderful additions, folks. Thanks for sharing with us.

  78. Matthew Simmons

      Totally slighted the 19th century. Thanks for making sure they were listed.

  79. Matthew Simmons

      Trinie’s fourth on the list. Love Wide Eyed so very much.

  80. kirsten

      Margaret Atwood, Ursula LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Judith Budnitz, Alice Notley, Marguerite Yourcenar, Rikki Ducornet, Leslie Marmon Silko, Doris Lessing, Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Sexton. I know you said ten, but mine goes to eleven.

  81. Dylan Landis

      toni morrison, elizabeth strout, sharon olds, zadie smith, jane austen, herta muller, valerie martin, andrea lee, judith freeman, rikki ducornet, pat barker, harriet doerr, zz packer. what an imaginative & spirited list! and thank you, roxane!

  82. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      I want somebody to buy this for me.

  83. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      (I want to say something abt how happy I am Rebecca Brown was already on your original list).

  84. deadgod

      – and thanks to Matthew for a hearty party star-tee.

  85. Matthew Simmons

      Brown’s a local hero for me. So, so good.

  86. HB

      Valerie Martin, Andrea Levy, Nicole Kraus, Virginia Woolf (ahem), George Eliot (ahem), Tillie Olsen, Julia Alvarez, Dorothy Allison, Joan Didion, Joan Silber, Jane Hamilton, Mary Morris, Carol Shields, Maxine Hong Kingston, Paula Sharp.

  87. Catherine Lacey

      and for being brilliant writers in their own right.

  88. Catherine Lacey

      I want to add Lidia Yukavitch again because I am so blown away by her forthcoming memoir. Check that shit out.

  89. Roxane

      Seriously. I read it again last night and the person I was with said, “Again, really?” I had to say, YES, MOFO, deal with it.

  90. James Yeh

      I actually haven’t read their fiction, so I didn’t want to talk about something I didn’t know firsthand. But maybe I should take your word for it!

  91. Whatisinevidence

      Zane, LaJill Hunt, Sister Souljah, Ashley JaQuavis, Monica Marie Jones, Nikki Urban, Takerra Allen, Meesha Mink, Kiki Swinson

  92. Joe

      Dodie Bellamy, Debra Di Blasi, Thalia Field, Kass Fleisher (my wife), Fanny Howe, Bhanu Kapil, Laura Mullen, (the late) Akilah Oliver, Michelle Naka Pierce, Susan Schultz, Stephanie Strickland, Elizabeth Willis, Anne Waldman, Laura Wright…

  93. Markpsadler

      Margaret Regan; Elizabeth Gunn; Sonia Nazario; Nancy Deville; Deborah Ledford; Meg Files; Daphne Du Maurier; Amy Stewart; Sue Monk Kidd

  94. Markpsadler

      Margaret Regan; Elizabeth Gunn; Sonia Nazario; Nancy Deville; Deborah Ledford; Meg Files; Daphne Du Maurier; Amy Stewart; Sue Monk Kidd