American Female Non-fiction Writers

Vote for Your Favourite American Female Non-fiction Writers

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 1 
Sylvia Plath
(Famous for Her Books 'The Bell Jar' and 'Ariel')
Sylvia Plath
5
Birthdate: October 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 11, 1963

Sylvia Plath was an American short-story writer, novelist, and poet. Plath is credited with popularizing confessional poetry and won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Sylvia Plath achieved popularity and critical acclaim despite suffering from clinical depression for the most part of her adult life. Her story inspired the 2003 film Sylvia in which she was portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow.

 2 
Caroline Kennedy
4
Birthdate: November 27, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cornell Medical Center Hospital, New York City, New York, U.S.

Caroline Kennedy is an American author, diplomat, and attorney. The only surviving child of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Caroline served as the US Ambassador to Japan between 2013 and 2017. A prolific author who writes about civil liberties, Caroline Kennedy has also served as a spokesperson for the Kennedy family's legacy.

 3 
Susan Sontag
(Writer and Filmmaker, Best Known for her Essay 'Notes on 'Camp')
Susan Sontag
4
Birthdate: January 16, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 28, 2004
Susan Sontag is best known for her essay anthologies such as Against Interpretation and her novels such as In America. She wrote about diverse issues such as human rights, photography, AIDS, and leftist beliefs, and also visited war-torn areas. The National Book Award-winning author was also openly bisexual. 
 4 
Joan Didion
(Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Essayist)
Joan Didion
6
Birthdate: December 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
 5 
Betty Friedan
(Feminist, Writer)
Betty Friedan
3
Birthdate: February 4, 1921
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: eoria, Illinois, United States
Died: February 4, 2004
 6 
Fran Lebowitz
(Writer Known for Her Sardonic Social Commentary on American Life and Her Defiant Grouchiness and Wit)
Fran Lebowitz
5
Birthdate: October 27, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Morristown, New Jersey, United States

Author and public speaker Fran Lebowitz is best known for her book The Fran Lebowitz Reader, which combined the two books Metropolitan Life and Social Studies. She also gained fame with her 2021 Netflix docuseries Pretend It's a City. Openly lesbian, she has often spoken about feminism, politics, and AIDS.

 7 
Christina Crawford
(Author, Actress)
Christina Crawford
4
Birthdate: June 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Actor and author Christina Crawford is best known for her memoir Mommie Dearest, which described her relationship with her adoptive mother, movie star Joan Crawford, highlighting the abuse she had been subjected to. It was later adapted into a film. Christina has also appeared in stage productions, films, and series.
 8 
Taya Kyle
(Activist, Author)
Taya Kyle
4
Birthdate: September 4, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon

Taya Kyle is an American political commentator and author. Since the death of her husband US Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, Taya Kyle has been working towards the welfare of military veterans' family. In 2014, she established the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation as part of her work. In the 2014 movie American Sniper, Taya Kyle was played by Sienna Miller.

 9 
Michelle McNamara
(American True Crime Author)
Michelle McNamara
5
Birthdate: April 14, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: April 21, 2016

True-crime writer, Michelle McNamara, is remembered for coining the name "Golden State Killer" for the serial killer later identified as Joseph James DeAngelo. Sadly, the author died before his identification and arrest. Fascinated by true crime from a young age, she launched her website TrueCrimeDiary in 2006 and dedicated her life to researching and writing about true crime.

 10 
Dorothy Bush Koch
4
Birthdate: August 18, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Harris County, Texas

The author of the New York Times bestseller My Father, My President, Dorothy Bush Koch is the sixth child of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush, and the sister of George W. Bush. A Eucharistic minister, she is also the founder of BB&R Wellness Consulting, centered on health and well-being.

 11 
Sarah Vowell
(Author of Seven Nonfiction Books on American History and Culture)
Sarah Vowell
4
Birthdate: December 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Muskogee, Oklahoma, United States

Bestselling author and essayist Sarah Vowell is known for her expertise in American history and her books such as Assassination Vacation and Unfamiliar Fishes. She is also a regular on the radio program This American Life and has voiced Violet in the animated film The Incredibles.

 12 
Catherine Hickland
(Actress, Businesswoman, Author)
Catherine Hickland
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 13 
Ann Rule
(Author of True Crime Books, Famous for Her Book 'The Stranger Beside Me', About Serial Killer Ted Bundy)
Ann Rule
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lowell, Michigan, United States
Died: July 26, 2015

True crime author Ann Rule had initially been a policewoman and was also well-versed in criminology and psychology. She first gained attention with her book The Stranger Beside Me, which relates her experiences of working with Ted Bundy, a volunteer at a suicide hotline, who later murdered several women.

 14 
Patricia Cornwell
(Novelist)
Patricia Cornwell
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, USA
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 15 
Barbara Ehrenreich
(Writer & Activist)
Barbara Ehrenreich
3
Birthdate: August 26, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Butte, Montana, United States
 16 
Isabel Wilkerson
(Journalist)
Isabel Wilkerson
3
Birthdate: 1961 AD
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
 17 
Anne Applebaum
(Polish-American Journalist and Historian Known for Writing on Former Soviet Union and Its Satellite Countries)
Anne Applebaum
3
Birthdate: July 25, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Anne Applebaum is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gulag, which described the Soviet concentration camps. The American historian and journalist has worked for The Economist and The Spectator and now writes for The Atlantic. The mother of two now lives in Poland with her politician husband, Radek Sikorski.

 18 
Amelia Warren Tyagi
(American Businesswoman, Management Consultant and Co-Founded of the Placement Firm ‘Business Talent Group’)
Amelia Warren Tyagi
3
Birthdate: September 2, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Jersey, United states
 19 
Amy Chua
(Lawyer)
Amy Chua
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
 20 
Adrienne Rich
(American poet)
Adrienne Rich
3
Birthdate: May 16, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: March 27, 2012
 21 
Stephanie Adams
(Model)
Stephanie Adams
3
Birthdate: July 24, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Orange, New Jersey, USA
Died: May 18, 2018
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 22 
Virginia Johnson
(Sexologist)
Virginia Johnson
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Springfield, Missouri, United States
Died: July 24, 2013
 23 
Alice Sebold
(Writer)
Alice Sebold
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
 24 
Jill Lepore
(Historian)
Jill Lepore
3
Birthdate: August 27, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: West Boylston, Massachusetts, United States

Jill Lepore is an American journalist and historian who is currently teaching American History at Harvard University. She has also been an important contributor to The New Yorker, writing about American history, literature, law, and politics since 2005. Over the years her work has earned her prestigious awards, such as the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award and American History Book Prize.

 25 
Laura Hillenbrand
(Author)
Laura Hillenbrand
3
Birthdate: May 15, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fairfax, Virginia, United States
 26 
Susan Ford
(Journalist)
Susan Ford
3
Birthdate: July 6, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., U.S.
 27 
Julie Powell
(Writer)
Julie Powell
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States
 28 
Joyce Maynard
(Novelists)
Joyce Maynard
3
Birthdate: November 5, 1953
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Exeter, New Hampshire, USA
 29 
Jan Brewer
(Politician)
Jan Brewer
3
Birthdate: September 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
 30 
Betty DeGeneres
(LGBT Rights Activist & Former Speech Therapist)
Betty DeGeneres
3
Birthdate: May 20, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
 31 
Kate Millett
(American Feminist Writer Best Known for Her Book ‘Sexual Politics’ (1970))
Kate Millett
3
Birthdate: September 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Died: September 6, 2017

Kate Millett was an educator, artist, feminist writer, and activist. Remembered for her 1970 book Sexual Politics, Millett often voiced for human rights, peace, and feminism through her work. Over the course of her career, Millett won several awards, including the Lambda Pioneer Award for Literature. In 2013, she was made an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 32 
Robin DiAngelo
(Academic)
Robin DiAngelo
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1956
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Jose, California,
 33 
M.F.K. Fisher
(Writer)
M.F.K. Fisher
2
Birthdate: July 3, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Albion, Michigan, United States
Died: June 22, 1992
 34 
Rebecca Skoot
(Writer)
Rebecca Skoot
3
Birthdate: September 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Springfield, Illinois, United States
 35 
Pema Chodron
(American Tibetan Buddhist)
Pema Chodron
3
Birthdate: July 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Pema Chodron is an American Tibetan Buddhist and an ordained nun. Born as Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in New York, she began studying with Tibetan Buddhist Lama Chime Rinpoche as a young woman. She eventually became a fully ordained nun or bhikṣuṇī. She is the author of several dozen books and audiobooks. She is the principal teacher at Gampo Abbey. 

 36 
Grace Lee Boggs
(Author & Social Activist - Key Figure in the 'Asian American Movement')
Grace Lee Boggs
3
Birthdate: June 27, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Died: October 5, 2015
 37 
Annie Dillard
(Author)
Annie Dillard
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
 38 
Susan Cain
(Writer)
Susan Cain
3
Birthdate: March 20, 1968
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: United States
 39 
Ricky Lauren
(Writer)
Ricky Lauren
0
Birthdate: June 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
 40 
Barbara Olson
(American Lawyer and Conservative Television Commentator)
Barbara Olson
3
Birthdate: December 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Died: September 11, 2001
 41 
Kayden Kross
(Actress)
Kayden Kross
4
Birthdate: September 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 42 
Min Jin Lee
(Novelist)
Min Jin Lee
2
Birthdate: April 18, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
 43 
Anna Julia Cooper
(One of the Most Important African-American Scholars in US History)
Anna Julia Cooper
2
Birthdate: August 10, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: February 27, 1964

Anna Julia Cooper was an American author, sociologist, educator, Black liberation activist, and speaker. She was one of the most important African-American scholars in US history. In 1924, Anna Julia Cooper earned her PhD from the University of Paris, becoming only the fourth African-American woman to receive a doctoral degree.

 44 
Kathrine Switzer
(American Marathon Runner and Author)
Kathrine Switzer
0
Birthdate: January 5, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Amberg, Germany

Kathrine Switzer was a 20-year-old Syracuse University student when she registered for the Boston Marathon in 1967. Though women were practically barred from competing, she competed as KV Switzer, avoiding mentioning her gender. Attacked at the event, she made history and became a champion for women’s rights.

 45 
Elizabeth Keckley
(Author)
Elizabeth Keckley
3
Birthdate: 1818
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Historic Dinwiddie Courthouse, Dinwiddie, Virginia, United States
Died: April 30, 1907
 46 
Elizabeth Kolbert
(Journalist, Writer)
Elizabeth Kolbert
2
Birthdate: July 6, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
 47 
Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut
(Writer)
Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut
3
Birthdate: March 31, 1823
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: near Stateburg, South Carolina, U.S.
Died: November 22, 1886
 48 
Sally Quinn
(Writer)
Sally Quinn
3
Birthdate: July 1, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
 49 
Radia Perlman
(Computer Network Engineer)
Radia Perlman
3
Birthdate: December 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
 50 
Bebe Moore Campbell
(Author)
Bebe Moore Campbell
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 27, 2006