American Female Novelists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Female Novelists

 1 Harper Lee

Harper Lee.
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 28, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monroeville
Died: February 19, 2016

Harper Lee was an American novelist who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Despite publishing only two books, Lee was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature, such was her impact in the world of literature. A friend of Truman Capote, Lee has been portrayed by popular actresses in Capote's biographical films.

 2 Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison.
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 18, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio
Died: August 5, 2019
Author, editor, and Princeton professor Toni Morrison is best remembered for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved, part of a trilogy. Some of her other notable works include The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon. She received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. She also wrote several children’s books and plays.
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 3 Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott.
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 29, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Germantown, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 6, 1888
Novelist and short story writer Louisa May Alcott is best remembered as the author of the 1868 novel Little Women and its sequels, Little Men and Jo's Boys. She initially wrote using the pseudonym “A. M. Barnard.” She never married and remained a life-long feminist and abolitionist.

 4 Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand.
5
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 2, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 6, 1982

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American philosopher and writer. Apart from publishing two best-selling novels, Ayn Rand is credited with developing a philosophical system called Objectivism. Over the years, Ayn Rand has been a major influence among American conservatives and libertarians. Some of the famous personalities influenced by her include Amber Heard, Vince Vaughn, Jimmy Wales, Ayelet Shaked, and Mary Ruwart.

 5 MacKenzie Scott

MacKenzie Scott.
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Famous As: Novelist, Ex-Wife of Jeff Bezos
Birthdate: April 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Francisco, California

 6 Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald.
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 24, 1900
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: March 10, 1948

Zelda Fitzgerald was a painter, socialite, and novelist. Along with her husband Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda became a prominent personality of the Jazz Age. Renowned for her high spirits and beauty, she was named the first American flapper by Scott. For her work as a novelist and painter, Fitzgerald was posthumously made an inductee to the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame.

 7 Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende.
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lima
Chilean author Isabel Allende is known for her bestselling Spanish-language novels The House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts. The Chilean National Literature Prize-winner explores women’s perspectives and includes magic realism and autobiographical aspects in her works. She has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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 8 Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson.
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 14, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, U.S.
Died: August 8, 1965
Shirley Jackson redefined the genres of horror and mystery through her works, which include over 200 short stories and six novels. Her iconic novel The Haunting of Hill House was made into a popular Netflix series and several movies, including the 1963 and 1999 versions of The Haunting

 9 Jackie Collins

Jackie Collins
5
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 4, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England, UK
Died: September 19, 2015

 10 Joan Didion

Joan Didion
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Essayist
Birthdate: December 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States

 11 Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston.
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Famous As: Folklorist, Anthropologist
Birthdate: January 7, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Notasulga
Died: January 28, 1960

Zora Neale Hurston was an author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. As an African American woman, she often depicted racial issues in the films she made. Her works also reflected her struggles as a black woman. In her early career, she conducted anthropological and ethnographic research and focused more on writing and film-making in her later years.

 12 Eileen Davidson

Eileen Davidson.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Artesia, California

 13 Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert.
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 18, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Waterbury, Connecticut, United States

Elizabeth Gilbert is an American author and journalist best known for publishing Eat Pray Love, a 2006 memoir that has sold more than 12 million copies. In 2010, it was adapted into a successful movie of the same name. Also known for her philanthropic efforts, Elizabeth Gilbert has participated in fundraising efforts for organizations like BlinkNow Foundation.

 14 Mona Simpson

Mona Simpson.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 14, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

 15 Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag.
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Famous As: Writer
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. 

 16 Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 24, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, USA

 17 Anais Nin

Anais Nin.
4
Famous As: Essayist
Birthdate: February 21, 1903
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris
Died: January 14, 1977

French-Cuban-American diarist, essayist, and novelist Anais Nin wrote several volumes of journals, erotica, novels, critical studies, essays, and short stories. Her journals and diaries are among her most studied works. She had a deep interest in psychoanalysis and studied it extensively with René Allendy and Otto Rank. Critics consider her one of the finest writers of female erotica.

 18 Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler.
4
Famous As: Science Fiction Writer
Birthdate: June 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pasadena, California, United States
Died: February 24, 2006

One of the finest African-American sci-fi authors, Octavia Butler was raised single-handedly by her widowed mother. Best known for the Patternist series and the short story Bloodchild, she often mingled mythology and spirituality in her work. She was the first sci-fi author to receive a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

 19 Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein.
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Famous As: American novelist
Birthdate: February 3, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Allegheny, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 27, 1946

Gertrude Stein was an American playwright, novelist, poet, and art collector. She is remembered for publishing works about lesbian sexuality, which was considered a taboo at that time. Over the years, Gertrude Stein has been the subject of several works of art. In the 2011 movie Midnight in Paris, Stein was portrayed by Kathy Bates.

 20 Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 12, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: McMinnville, Oregon, United States

 21 Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel.
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 14, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City

 22 Olivia Olson

Olivia Olson.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 21, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles

Olivia Olson is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She made her film debut at the age of 10, playing Joanna Anderson in the film, Love Actually, in which she was seen singing All I Want for Christmas Is You; her skills as a singer was praised and Olson landed several voice roles in TV series, such as Phineas and Ferb.

 23 Martha Gellhorn

Martha Gellhorn.
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Famous As: Journalist & Writer
Birthdate: November 8, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: St. Louis
Died: February 15, 1998

 24 Karrine Steffans

Karrine Steffans
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 24, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Karrine Steffans soared to international fame with her Vixen series of books, including Confessions of a Video Vixen and The Vixen Diaries. A former hip-hop music video star, she has also dabbled in acting, with films such as A Man Apart. The mother of one now lives in southern California.

 25 Valerie Plame

Valerie Plame
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 13, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.

 26 Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London
Jhumpa Lahiri is an Indian-American author who mainly writes mostly about the experiences faced by East Indian immigrants and also about their practices and traditions. Recipient of several awards, she received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and PEN/Hemingway Award for her first publication, Interpreter of Maladies.

 27 Fannie Flagg

Fannie Flagg
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, USA

 28 Roxann Dawson

Roxann Dawson.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 11, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

 29 N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.

N. K. Jemisin became the first writer to win the Hugo Best Novel award thrice consecutively and is best known for her Inheritance trilogy and her Broken Earth series. The African-American author is also a trained psychologist and has worked as a counsellor in several universities.

 30 Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 24, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 11, 1937

 31 Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 11, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Williams, Arizona, United States

Author Diana Gabaldon, daughter of Arizona senator Tony Gabaldon, is best known for her Outlander novel series, which has also been adapted into a TV series. Gabaldon has also authored the Lord John series. She is known for mingling several genres, including historical fiction, mystery, science fiction, and romance.

 32 Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 19, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Died: February 4, 1995

 33 Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lockport, New York, United States

 34 S. E. Hinton

S. E. Hinton
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 22, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States

 35 Patti Davis

Patti Davis
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 21, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 36 V. C. Andrews

V. C. Andrews
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 6, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
Died: December 19, 1986

 37 Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle
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Famous As: Marine biologist
Birthdate: August 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gibbstown, New Jersey, U.S.
Sylvia Earle is known for her research on marine algae and she was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Earle held the world record for the deepest untethered dive and was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet, in 1998. She also featured in Netflix Original documentary Seaspiracy.

 38 Heather Hunter

Heather Hunter
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 39 Cheryl Crane

Cheryl Crane
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Famous As: Real estate broker
Birthdate: July 25, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 40 Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.

Roxane Gay is an American writer, editor, professor, and social commentator. She is credited with founding an Illinois-based small press called Tiny Hardcore Press as well as the now-defunct Gay Magazine, which was founded in association with Medium. Roxane Gay is the recipient of a couple of Lambda Literary Awards and an Eisner Award for Best Limited Series.

 41 Esther Hicks

Esther Hicks
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Coalville, Utah, U.S.

 42 Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt.
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 23, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Greenwood, Mississippi, United States

 43 Denise Nicholas

Denise Nicholas.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 12, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

 44 Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts
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Famous As: Writer, Novelist, Screenwriter, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: October 10, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Silver Spring

An author who has penned over 200 romance novels, Nora Roberts is also known by her pseudonyms such as J. D. Robb and Jill March. Apart from writing New York Times bestsellers such as Hideaway and Under Currents, she has also penned the suspense series In Death.

 45 Amy Tan

Amy Tan.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 19, 1952
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oakland, California

 46 Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 19, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.

 47 Rose Wilder Lane

Rose Wilder Lane
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Famous As: Journalists
Birthdate: December 5, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: De Smet, South Dakota, USA
Died: October 30, 1968

 48 Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
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Famous As: Renowned Author & Aviator
Birthdate: June 22, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey
Died: February 7, 2001

 49 Willa Cather

Willa Cather.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 7, 1873
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Winchester
Died: April 24, 1947

 50 Kelly Killoren

Kelly Killoren.
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Famous As: Author, Socialite, Model
Birthdate: May 1, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rockford, Illinois