American Female Writers

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Throughout history, there have been many American women writers who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great American female writers such as Portia de Rossi, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Helen Keller, Mary-Kate Olsen.
Vote for Your Favourite American Female Writers
 1 
Maya Angelou
(American Poet and Civil Rights Activist Known for Her Autobiography ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’)
Maya Angelou
34
Birthdate: April 4, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: May 28, 2014
Poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was a champion for black feminism and is best remembered for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing. The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and over 50 honorary degrees was also a child sex abuse survivor.
 2 
Sylvia Plath
(Famous for Her Books 'The Bell Jar' and 'Ariel')
Sylvia Plath
28
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.

 3 
Emily Dickinson
(One of the Leading 19th-Century American Poets)
Emily Dickinson
19
Birthdate: December 10, 1830
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amherst, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 15, 1886
Victorian-era poet Emily Dickinson apparently wrote around 1800 poems, mostly revolving around themes such as death and immortality. However, she was a recluse, dressed up in white, and mostly interacted with people through correspondence. Her poems were mostly without titles and had short lines, slant rhyme, and unconventional punctuation.
 4 
Harper Lee
(American Author Best Known for Her Novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’)
Harper Lee
13
Birthdate: April 28, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monroeville, Alabama, United States
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.

 5 
Louisa May Alcott
5
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.
 6 
Toni Morrison
(Novelist)
Toni Morrison
17
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.
 7 
Jamie Lee Curtis
(Best Known for Her Roles in the Films: 'True Lies' and the 'Halloween' Series)
Jamie Lee Curtis
11
Birthdate: November 22, 1958
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

After making her film debut in the horror film, Halloween, James Lee Curtis went on to establish herself as a scream queen, appearing in a number of horror films. Curtis is also an author, having released several children's books, including books that have made The New York Times' best-seller list. She is also a well-known philanthropist.

 8 
Helen Keller
(American Author and First Deaf-Blind Person to Earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree)
Helen Keller
7
Birthdate: June 27, 1880
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tuscumbia, Alabama, United States
Died: June 1, 1968

A prolific author, having written 12 published books and several articles, Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her autobiography, The Story of My Life, made Keller famous and was adapted for film and stage. She was also an activist and campaigned for women's suffrage, labour rights, socialism and other such causes.

 9 
Jennifer Jason Leigh
(Actress & Producer)
Jennifer Jason Leigh
5
Birthdate: February 5, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Known for her Academy Award-nominated performance in The Hateful Eight, Jennifer Jason Leigh had started her career at age 9. Fans also loved her in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle and Margot at the Wedding. She was also seen as Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes’s Broadway production Cabaret.

 10 
Maria Shriver
(Former First Lady of California (2003 - 2011) and Ex-Wife of Actor 'Arnold Schwarzenegger')
Maria Shriver
4
Birthdate: November 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Famous American journalist, Maria Shriver, is recognised for her long association with NBC. Her documentary series The Alzheimer’s Project earned rave reviews and she later founded the nonprofit organization, 'The Women's Alzheimer's Movement'. As the former First Lady of California– she was married to Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was the governor of California– she involved herself in numerous charity works.

 11 
Danai Gurira
(Actress and Playwright)
Danai Gurira
20
Birthdate: February 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grinnell, Iowa, United States
Danai Gurira is best known as Michonne from The Walking Dead and as Okoye from the Marvel films Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. She earned a Tony nomination for writing the Broadway play Eclipsed. She has been a UN Goodwill Ambassador and promotes arts and women empowerment.
 12 
Lea Michele
(Actress and Singer Known for Role as ‘Rachel Berry’ on the Fox Series ‘Glee’)
Lea Michele
7
Birthdate: August 29, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

Lea Michele is an American actress and singer. She began her career as a child actress on Broadway and is best known for the role of Rachel Berry on the comedy-drama series Glee. She won many awards and was critically acclaimed for it. However, Lea has also been accused of being rude to her co-actors on the sets of Glee.

 13 
Shirley Jackson
(American Writer Known Primarily for Her Works of Horror and Mystery)
Shirley Jackson
7
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
 14 
Lauren Graham
(Actress and Author Best Known for Her Role as ‘Lorelai Gilmore’ in the TV Series ‘Gilmore Girls’)
Lauren Graham
8
Birthdate: March 16, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Lauren Graham is an American actress popular for playing Lorelai Gilmore in the famous television series, Gilmore Girls. Apart from being an actress, Lauren Graham is also an author and has published a couple of books, including a memoir. Also known for her beauty, Lauren has graced the cover of magazines like Health, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Parade, and Self.

 15 
Mara Wilson
(Actress and Writer Known for Her Role as ‘Natalie Hillard’ in the Film ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’)
Mara Wilson
10
Birthdate: July 24, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Burbank, California, United States

Mara Wilson stole the hearts of many with her performance as a child actress in films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street, and Matilda. After growing up, she decided to pursue a career as a writer. In one of her interviews, she spoke about her mental illnesses, including OCD, depression, and anxiety. She also came out as bisexual.

 16 
Chelsea Peretti
(Actress and Comedian Best Known for Her Role as ‘Gina Linetti’ in the Comedy Series ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’)
Chelsea Peretti
5
Birthdate: February 20, 1978
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Contra Costa County, California, United States
Best known as Gina Linetti from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chelsea Peretti has also performed as part of the comedy troupe Variety SHAC. She has written for The Huffington Post, founded by her brother, and for magazines such as Playgirl and Jest. She has also released an EP and launched a podcast.
 17 
AJ Lee
(Retired Professional Wrestler and Executive Producer for WOW – Women of Wrestling)
AJ Lee
5
Birthdate: March 19, 1987
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Union City, New Jersey, United States
April Jeanette Mendez, better known by her ring name AJ Lee, is best known for her stint with WWE. She is a three-time Divas champion and won the Slammy Award for Diva of the Year twice. She has also written a bestselling memoir and is also quite popular on Instagram.
 18 
Laura Ingalls Wilder
(American Author Known for Her Children's Book Series ‘Little House on the Prairie’)
Laura Ingalls Wilder
4
Birthdate: February 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pepin County, Wisconsin, United States
Died: February 10, 1957
Laura Ingalls Wilder authored the iconic Little House children’s book series, including the novel Little House on the Prairie, based on her family’s life in Wisconsin, which was later adapted for many stage and screen versions. She is also known for her autobiography, Pioneer Girl, and many posthumously published books.
 19 
Zoe Kazan
(American Actress Known for Her Role in the TV Series 'Olive Kitteridge')
Zoe Kazan
13
Birthdate: September 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Born to screenwriters Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord, Zoe Kazan is also the granddaughter of director Elia Kazan and thus was never a stranger to show business. Now a regular on Broadway and in films, she also bagged an Emmy nomination for her role in the miniseries Olive Kitteridge.

 20 
Linda McCartney
(American Photographer, Musician, Animal Rights Activist and Vegetarian Cook Book Author)
Linda McCartney
6
Birthdate: September 4, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Scarsdale, New York, United States
Died: April 17, 1998
Linda McCartney, the first wife of Paul McCartney, formed the band Wings with her husband, after the Beatles disbanded. An animal rights activist, she wrote several vegetarian cookbooks, apart from launching Linda McCartney Foods. She was also a skilled photographer and published a photo book. She died of breast cancer.  
 21 
Shonda Rhimes
(Television Producer)
Shonda Rhimes
7
Birthdate: January 13, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago

Shonda Rhimes is a screenwriter, author, and television producer. She is credited with creating, writing, and executive producing one of the most popular American medical drama TV series ever, Grey's Anatomy. She is also credited with creating series like Private Practice and Scandal. In 2007, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 People Who Help Shape the World.

 22 
Giada De Laurentiis
(Chef and Host of 'Giada at Home')
Giada De Laurentiis
6
Birthdate: August 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Giada De Laurentiis is an Italian-American chef, restaurateur, television personality, and writer. She won the Gracie Award under the Best Television Host category for hosting Giada at Home. The founder of a catering business called GDL Foods, Giada De Laurentiis has been an influential figure in the American culinary business over the last few years.

 23 
Gabby Douglas
(Retired Artistic Gymnast and 1st African American to Become the Olympic Individual All-Around Champion)
Gabby Douglas
5
Birthdate: December 31, 1995
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newport News, Virginia, United States

Retired artistic gymnast Gabby Douglas became an all-around Olympic champion in 2012, becoming the first African-American to achieve the feat. She is also the first American to win gold in both the individual and team competitions at the same Olympic event. She inspired the biopic The Gabby Douglas Story.

 24 
Angela Davis
(Political Activist)
Angela Davis
7
Birthdate: January 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham

Activist, philosopher, academic and author, Angela Davis is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She has worked in the areas of feminism, class, race and the US prison system. She has also received criticism for supporting the erstwhile Soviet Union and has been accused of supporting political violence.

 25 
Gladys Knight
(Singer-Songwriter)
Gladys Knight
5
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
 26 
Ayn Rand
(Writer and Philosopher Known for Her Best-Selling Novels ‘The Fountainhead’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’)
Ayn Rand
17
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.

 27 
Stacey Dash
(Actress)
Stacey Dash
7
Birthdate: January 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA
 28 
Alyssa Milano
(Actress and Political Activist Known for Her Role in the 'MeToo Movement')
Alyssa Milano
8
Birthdate: December 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bensonhurst, New York, United States
An unexpected audition led a young Alyssa Milano to her role in touring musical Annie. She became a teen star with sitcom Who's the Boss?. A bit of struggle later, she finally bagged her big break as an adult in the television show Charmed. Alyssa Milano is also a political activist and UNICEF Ambassador.
 29 
Amanda Knox
(Wrongful conviction of the murder of Meredith Kercher)
Amanda Knox
8
Birthdate: July 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

Amanda Knox is an American woman who made headlines when she was convicted for the murder of Meredith Kercher in Italy. After spending almost four years in prison, Amanda was definitively acquitted after a new trial that found her not guilty. Her story inspired books and documentaries; Knox's memoir Waiting to Be Heard became popular.

 30 
Amy Sedaris
(Actress & Comedian)
Amy Sedaris
5
Birthdate: March 29, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Endicott, New York, United States
Amy Sedaris is best known as Jerri Blank from the series Strangers with Candy and its prequel movie. She was also nominated for two Emmys for her comedy series At Home with Amy Sedaris. Some of her other notable projects are Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Mandalorian, and BoJack Horseman
 31 
Isabel Allende
(Chilean-American Author Known for Her Novels: ‘The House of the Spirits’ and ‘City of the Beasts’)
Isabel Allende
10
Birthdate: August 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lima, Peru
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.
 32 
MacKenzie Scott
(Novelist, Ex-Wife of Jeff Bezos)
MacKenzie Scott
9
Birthdate: April 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
 33 
Leslie Jones
(Comedian)
Leslie Jones
7
Birthdate: September 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
 34 
Zelda Fitzgerald
(Socialite & Referred to as 'The first American Flapper' by Her Husband 'F. Scott Fitzgerald')
Zelda Fitzgerald
5
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.

 35 
Laura Bush
(Wife of Former US President George W. Bush and First Lady of the United States (2001 - 2009))
Laura Bush
4
Birthdate: November 4, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Midland, Texas, United States

Laura Bush is an American educator. She served as the First Lady of the US from 2001 to 2009, during which she encouraged education and helped advance women's causes through non-profit organizations. Regarded as one of the most famous American First Ladies, Laura Bush focused on raising awareness about malaria and HIV/AIDS.

 36 
Nicolle Wallace
(American Television Host and Former White House Communications Director (2005 - 2006))
Nicolle Wallace
5
Birthdate: February 4, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Orange County, California, United States

Nicolle Wallace has been Jeb Bush's press secretary, the White House communications director under George W. Bush, and John McCain’s senior political advisor. She has also hosted Deadline: White House and The View, and written three political novels, including Eighteen Acres. A self-proclaimed “non-practicing Republican,” she supports same-sex marriage.

 37 
Ree Drummond
(Blogger)
Ree Drummond
4
Birthdate: January 6, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Ree Drummond is an American author, blogger, food writer, television personality, and photographer. In 2010, she was named in Forbes magazine's Top 25 Web Celebrities list. Riding on the success of her blog The Pioneer Woman, which was adjudged Weblog of the Year for three consecutive years at the Weblog Awards, Drummond went on to present her own television program.

 38 
Cheryl Ladd
(Actress)
Cheryl Ladd
5
Birthdate: July 12, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Huron, South Dakota, USA
 39 
Maya Harris
(American Lawyer, Public Policy Advocate & Sister of 49th Vice President of United States, Kamala Harris)
Maya Harris
5
Birthdate: January 30, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, United States

A lawyer, law professor, political analyst and a civil rights activist, Maya Harris’s list of achievements is huge. One of the youngest in the US to become a law school dean, Maya Harris has worked with Hillary Clinton and her own sister Kamala Harris in their respective presidential campaigns.

 40 
Fran Drescher
(Actress & Comedian Known for Her Role of 'Fran Fine' in the Sitcom 'The Nanny')
Fran Drescher
8
Birthdate: October 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Flushing, New York, United States

Fran Drescher is an American actress and comedian. Characterized by her thick New York accent and nasal voice, Fran Drescher serves as an inspiration to many cancer patients as she successfully fought off the disease after suffering from uterine cancer. She is also an outspoken LGBT rights activist and healthcare advocate.

 41 
Rachel Carson
(Marine biologist)
Rachel Carson
4
Birthdate: May 27, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Springdale
Died: April 14, 1964

Rachel Carson was a conservationist, marine biologist, and author. She is credited with authoring an influential book titled Silent Spring, which played a significant role in advancing the global environmental movement. Carson is also remembered for her book, The Sea Around Us, which earned her a U.S. National Book Award. She was posthumously honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 42 
Jenna Bush Hager
(News Personality, Author, and Daughter of Former U.S. President George W. Bush)
Jenna Bush Hager
4
Birthdate: November 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States
Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former American president George W. Bush, has been a teacher and a journalist. She has written several books, has worked with UNICEF, and has also co-hosted NBC shows such as The Today Show. She has also served as an editor for Southern Living magazine.
 43 
Caroline Kennedy
8
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.

 44 
Mae West
(Actress, Screenwriter, Singer)
Mae West
4
Birthdate: August 17, 1893
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 22, 1980
Mae West began her career as a child actor in vaudeville. She later appeared in films such as You Done Me Wrong and Go West, Young Man. She became famous for her signature double entendres and sexual liberty she projected on screen. She also wrote books and plays later.
 45 
Nora Ephron
(Screenwriter, Producer, Director)
Nora Ephron
4
Birthdate: May 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron was an American writer, filmmaker, and journalist. She is known for writing films like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally... The Nora Ephron Prize was created by the Tribeca Film Festival in her memory. Her life and work inspired the 2016 documentary film Everything Is Copy, which was directed by her son Jacob Bernstein.

 46 
Coretta Scott King
(Civil-Rights Activist and the Wife of Martin Luther King Jr)
Coretta Scott King
5
Birthdate: April 27, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Heiberger, Alabama, United States
Died: January 30, 2006

The American civil rights activist was an ideal foil for her famous husband Martin Luther King Jr. in promoting racial equality. The author and singer led the Women's Movement and fought for the rights of the LGBT community. She was also known for mobilising African-Americans during the 1960 US presidential election. She founded the King Centre, a not-for-profit organization.

 47 
Ursula K. Le Guin
(American Author Best Known for Her Works of Speculative Fiction)
Ursula K. Le Guin
4
Birthdate: October 21, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States
Died: January 22, 2018

Ursula K. Le Guin was an American author. In a career spanning almost six decades, Ursula wrote about political and social themes like race and sexuality. Throughout her career, Ursula had a major influence on speculative fiction. Her book A Wizard of Earthsea is credited with inspiring ideas like 'wizard school', which was later popularized in the Harry Potter series.

 48 
Suzanne Somers
5
Birthdate: October 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Bruno, California, United States
 49 
Joan Didion
(Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Essayist)
Joan Didion
4
Birthdate: December 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
 50 
Adrienne Barbeau
4
Birthdate: June 11, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States

Adrienne Barbeau is best known for her Theater World Award-winning portrayal of Rizzo in the Broadway musical Grease. Fans also loved her in horror and sci-fi films such as The Fog and Swamp Thing, and as Carol Traynor in the series Maude. She also voiced Catwoman in various Batman series.