American Female Short Story Writers

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

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 1 Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath
4
Famous As: Famous for her Books 'The Bell Jar' and 'Ariel'
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 Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson
5
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 14, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: September 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

 3 Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott
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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 Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald
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Famous As: Novelist, Socialite
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.

 5 Alice Walker

Alice Walker
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 9, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Eatonton, Georgia, United States
Author Alice Walker is best known for her National Book Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple. She is credited with coining the term womanist, to mean feminist of color. Her marriage with Melvyn Roseman Leventhal was the first official interracial marriage in the state of Mississippi.

 6 Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lockport, New York, United States

 7 Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 24, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 11, 1937
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 8 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.

 9 Eudora Welty

Eudora Welty
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 13, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Died: July 23, 2001

 10 Carson McCullers

Carson McCullers
3
Famous As: American novelist
Birthdate: February 19, 1917
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia, USA
Died: September 29, 1967

 11 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

 12 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.

 13 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

 14 Donna Tartt

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

 15 Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Anne Porter
3
Famous As: Journalist, Essayist, Writer, Novelist
Birthdate: May 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Indian Creek, Texas, U.S.
Died: September 18, 1980

 16 Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: March 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia, United States
Died: August 3, 1964

 17 Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
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.

 18 Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Little Falls, Minnesota, US

 19 Tabitha King

Tabitha King
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Old Town, Maine, USA

 20 Holiday Reinhorn

Holiday Reinhorn
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Famous As: Fiction Writer
Birthdate: March 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon

Holiday Reinhorn is the author the bestselling book Big Cats. She has written for various literary magazines such as Zoetrope: All-Story and Gulf Coast. She and her husband, actor Rainn Wilson, both follow the Baháʼí faith. Reinhorn has also co-established a non-profit for Haitian women interested in writing, named Lide.

 21 Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States

 22 Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 30, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

 23 Deborah Eisenberg

Deborah Eisenberg
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Winnetka, Illinois, United States

 24 Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago Chicago, Illinois

 25 Zhang Ailing

Zhang Ailing
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: September 8, 1995

 26 Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Apparently, Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat, known for books such as Breath, Eyes, Memory, had begun writing to escape the bullying she faced because of her Haitian ways after she moved to the U.S. as a young girl. Although her parents wanted her to study medicine, she took up French literature.

 27 E. Annie Proulx

E. Annie Proulx
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 22, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Norwich, Connecticut, United States

 28 Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 15, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Northampton, Massachusetts, United States

 29 Min Jin Lee

Min Jin Lee
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 18, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea

 30 Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 26, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 31 Dorothea Margaret Tanning

Dorothea Margaret Tanning
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 25, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Galesburg, Illinois, U.S.
Died: January 31, 2012

Remembered for her surrealist paintings, sculptor and painter Dorothea Margaret Tanning seemed to have recreated her visions and dreams through her art. Most of her works showcase unreal situations, with motifs such as gigantic flowers and doors. Her iconic installation Hôtel du Pavot, Chambre 202 showcases her sculpting skills.

 32 Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsky
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ames, Iowa, United States

 33 Caitlín R. Kiernan

Caitlín R. Kiernan
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Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: May 26, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Skerries, Ireland

Caitlín R. Kiernan is an Irish-born American author and paleontologist. A two-time winner of both the Bram Stoker and World Fantasy awards, Kiernan has written over 250 short stories and several novels. She has also won several other prestigious awards, such as the International Horror Guild Award, Barnes and Noble Maiden Voyage Award, and James Tiptree, Jr. Award.  

 34 Grace Paley

Grace Paley
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 11, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City. United States
Died: August 22, 2007

 35 Sarah Orne Jewett

Sarah Orne Jewett
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 3, 1849
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: South Berwick, Maine, United States
Died: June 24, 1909

 36 Dawn Powell

Dawn Powell
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 28, 1896
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mount Gilead, Ohio, United States
Died: November 14, 1965

 37 Cynthia Ozick

Cynthia Ozick
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Famous As: Short Story Writer
Birthdate: April 17, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 38 A.M. Homes

A.M. Homes
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Famous As: American author
Birthdate: December 18, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 39 Linda Hogan

Linda Hogan
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States

 40 Shirley Hazzard

Shirley Hazzard
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 30, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Died: December 12, 2016

Australian-born American author Shirley Hazzard is best known for her Lost Man Booker Prize-shortlisted book The Bay of Noon and the National Book Award-winning The Great Fire. She has also penned various non-fiction volumes on the United Nations, where she had worked as a typist for a decade.

 41 Laura Riding

Laura Riding
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 16, 1901
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: September 2, 1991

 42 Fannie Hurst

Fannie Hurst
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 18, 1889
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hamilton, Ohio, United States
Died: February 23, 1968

 43 Elizabeth Hardwick

Elizabeth Hardwick
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Famous As: Literary critic
Birthdate: July 27, 1916
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Died: December 2, 2007

 44 Alice Dunbar Nelson

Alice Dunbar Nelson
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: September 18, 1935

 45 Ann Beattie

Ann Beattie
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 46 Tea Obreht

Tea Obreht
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 30, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Belgrade, Serbia

 47 Tess Gallagher

Tess Gallagher
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 21, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Port Angeles, Washington, United States

 48 Tillie Olsen

Tillie Olsen
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 14, 1912
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wahoo, Nebraska, United States
Died: January 1, 2007

 49 Jean Stafford

Jean Stafford
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 1, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Covina, California, United States
Died: March 26, 1979

 50 Ann Petry

Ann Petry
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 12, 1908
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Old Saybrook, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 28, 1997