Women Non-Fiction Writers

Throughout history, there have been many women non-fiction writers who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female non-fiction writers such as Svetlana Alexievich, Caroline Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Martha Gellhorn, Princess Michael of Kent.The women non-fiction writers featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Australia and many more countries.

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 Women Non-Fiction Writers

 1 
Sylvia Plath
(Famous for Her Books 'The Bell Jar' and 'Ariel')

Sylvia Plath
4
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 

Mary Wollstonecraft
4
Birthdate: April 27, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 10, 1797

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, advocate of women's rights, and philosopher. Wollstonecraft, who attracted a lot of attention for her unconventional personal relationships, is widely considered a founding feminist philosopher. Although her unorthodoxy initially attracted criticisms, her advocacy of women's equality became increasingly important during the 20th century. Modern-day feminists cite her works and her life as important influences.

 3 
Hannah Arendt
(Philosopher)

Hannah Arendt
4
Birthdate: October 14, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Linden - Mitte, Hanover, Germany
Died: December 4, 1975

Hannah Arendt was a political theorist. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent political thinkers, Hannah Arendt's articles and books have had a significant influence on philosophy and political theory. Her life and work inspired the 2012 biographical drama film, Hannah Arendt. Her work has also inspired several biographies written by popular authors.

 4 
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. 

 5 
Rachel Carson
(Marine biologist)

Rachel Carson
3
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.

 6 
Mary Seacole
(Heroine of the Crimean War)

Mary Seacole
3
Birthdate: November 23, 1805
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: May 14, 1881

Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse, businesswoman, and healer. She played a major role during the Crimean War, providing aid for wounded servicemen and nursing them back to health. In 1991, Seacole was posthumously honored with the Jamaican Order of Merit. In 2004, she was named the greatest black Briton for her contribution during the war.

 7 
Betty Friedan
(Feminist, Writer)

Betty Friedan
3
Birthdate: February 4, 1921
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: eoria, Illinois, United States
Died: February 4, 2004
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 8 

Germaine Greer
4
Birthdate: January 29, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Australian author and feminist Germaine Greer made headlines with her first book, The Female Eunuch, which focused on female sexuality. Greer’s career boasts of a PhD in literature, and she has also taught at the University of Warwick and other institutes. She was later named an Australian National Living Treasure.

 9 
Naomi Klein
(Author)

Naomi Klein
3
Birthdate: May 5, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada

Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker Naomi Klein is known for her criticism of corporate globalization and capitalism. She became internationally known following the release of her alter-globalization book No Logo. She often appears on global and national lists of top influential thinkers and is the recipient of the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize. She is a prominent environmentalist as well.

 10 

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.

 11 

Geri Halliwell
4
Birthdate: August 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Watford

Geri Halliwell is a British singer-songwriter who achieved international fame as part of the popular girl group, The Spice Girls, which has sold more than 85 million records worldwide. Also a well-known philanthropist, Geri Halliwell has worked closely with the United Nations Population Fund, becoming its goodwill ambassador in 1998. She is widely regarded as a girl power icon.

 12 

Lady Colin Campbell
5
Birthdate: August 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Andrew Parish, Jamaica

Jamaican-born British writer, socialite, and TV personality, Lady Colin Campbell, is known for publishing four books about the British royal family, including a biography of Diana, Princess of Wales. While her books about the royal family made her popular, she also faced criticism for some of her claims. She once kindled controversy for supporting sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, on TV.

 13 

Michelle McNamara
4
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.

 14 

Suzanne Somers
4
Birthdate: October 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Bruno, California, United States

 15 
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.

 16 
Sara Pascoe
(Comedian)

Sara Pascoe
4
Birthdate: May 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dagenham, London, England

Born to musician Derek Pascoe, comedian Sara Pascoe was raised by her mother amid poverty after her parents’ divorce. Initially a tour guide, she later stepped into comedy and never looked back. She is known for shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Twenty Twelve.

 17 

Elizabeth Gaskell
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1810
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chelsea, England
Died: November 12, 1865

 18 
Friedrich Engels
(German Philosopher Who Developed 'Marxism' Together With Karl Max)

Friedrich Engels
4
Birthdate: November 28, 1820
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barmen, Germany
Died: August 5, 1895

Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, political scientist, and revolutionary socialist. Along with Karl Marx, Engels helped develop Marxism, which has had a profound impact on fields like philosophy and anthropology. Engels is credited with helping Marx publish Das Kapital, a foundational theoretical work in politics, economics, and materialist philosophy. He also co-authored influential political documents like The Communist Manifesto.

 19 
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.

 20 
Brene Brown
(Researcher Known in Particular for Her Research on Shame, Vulnerability, and Leadership)

Brene Brown
4
Birthdate: November 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States

Apart from being a University of Houston research professor, Brene Brown has also been a successful author of New York Times bestsellers such as Braving the Wilderness, and a podcast host. She also has a lecture featured on Netflix, while her Ted Talk is one of the world’s top-five most-viewed. 

 21 
Joan Didion
(Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Essayist)

Joan Didion
4
Birthdate: December 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States

 22 
Betty Ford
(Former First Lady of the United States)

Betty Ford
4
Birthdate: April 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: July 8, 2011

Betty Ford served as the First Lady of the US from 1974 to 1977. One of the most popular First Ladies in history, Ford was a passionate supporter of abortion rights and worked towards raising breast cancer awareness. She commented on topics like sex, drugs, abortion, and equal pay. In 1991, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 23 
Gertrude Bell
(Writer, Diplomat)

Gertrude Bell
4
Birthdate: July 14, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, United Kingdom
Died: July 12, 1926

Born into a wealthy English family, Gertrude Bell was an explorer at heart and went down in history for her journeys across the Middle East and for helping establish the Hāshimite dynasty in Iraq. Though she graduated in history from Oxford, being a woman, she wasn’t awarded a degree.

 24 
Samantha Bee
(Comedienne, Actress, Writer and Television Host)

Samantha Bee
4
Birthdate: October 25, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

Samantha Bee is a Canadian-American political commentator, television host, comedienne, producer, and writer. Bee achieved international recognition for her 12-year tenure as a correspondent on the late-night talk and satirical news program The Daily Show. In 2017, she was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list. In 2017, she also won a Primetime Emmy Award.

 25 
Isabel Wilkerson
(Journalist)

Isabel Wilkerson
3
Birthdate: 1961 AD
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 26 
Barbara Ehrenreich
(Writer & Activist)

Barbara Ehrenreich
3
Birthdate: August 26, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Butte, Montana, United States

 27 

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.

 28 
Taylor Armstrong
(Reality TV Personalities)

Taylor Armstrong
4
Birthdate: May 31, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Independence Township, Kansas, United States

 29 

Vera Brittain
3
Birthdate: December 29, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire, England
Died: March 29, 1970

 30 
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.

 31 
Mary Soames
(Youngest Child of Winston Churchill)

Mary Soames
3
Birthdate: September 15, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chartwell
Died: May 31, 2014

Mary Soames was a British author and the youngest child of Winston Churchill and Clementine. From 1939 to 1941, Soames worked for several public organizations, such as the Women's Voluntary Service and Red Cross. She then joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1945, she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), in recognition of meritorious military services.

 32 
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.

Princess Michael of Kent
4
Birthdate: January 15, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Karlovy Vary

Princess, Michael of Kent, is one of the members of the British royal family. Princess Michael, who is of Hungarian, Austrian, and German noble descent, worked as an interior designer before shifting her focus towards writing. Having held a long time fascination for cheetahs, Princess Michael serves as a patron for Namibia's Cheetah Conservation Fund

 34 
Betty DeGeneres
(LGBT Rights Activist & Former Speech Therapist)

Betty DeGeneres
3
Birthdate: May 20, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 35 
Amelia Warren Tyagi
(Elizabeth Warren's Daughter)

Amelia Warren Tyagi
3
Birthdate: September 2, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Jersey

 36 

Laura Hillenbrand
3
Birthdate: May 15, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

 37 
Coleen Nolan
(Singer)

Coleen Nolan
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Blackpool, England, UK

 38 
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.

 39 

Patricia Cornwell
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, USA

 40 
Kathrine Switzer
(Journalist, Athletics competitor, Non-fiction writer)

Kathrine Switzer
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Amberg

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.

 41 
Ann Coulter
(Conservative Media Pundit, Author, Syndicated Columnist & Lawyer)

Ann Coulter
10
Birthdate: December 8, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Ann Coulter is a political commentator and has written countless bestselling books, including High Crimes and Misdemeanors, which enumerated the reasons why Bill Clinton should have been impeached. She assisted Paula Jones’s attorneys for free. Her columns are featured on various conservative websites. She opposes same-sex marriage and hate-crime laws.

 42 
Patti Davis
(Actress)

Patti Davis
4
Birthdate: October 21, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 43 

Rebecca Skoot
3
Birthdate: September 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Springfield, Illinois, United States

 44 

M.F.K. Fisher
2
Birthdate: July 3, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Albion, Michigan, United States
Died: June 22, 1992

 45 
Frances Burney
(Novelist)

Frances Burney
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1752
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: King’s Lynn, England
Died: January 6, 1840

 46 
Kayden Kross
(Actress)

Kayden Kross
4
Birthdate: September 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA

 47 
Amy Chua
(Lawyer)

Amy Chua
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois Champaign, Illinois, U.S.

 48 
Virginia Johnson
(Sexologist)

Virginia Johnson
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Springfield, Missouri, United States
Died: July 24, 2013

 49 
Sonali Deraniyagala
(Memoirist, Economist)

Sonali Deraniyagala
3
Birthdate: 1964 AD
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka

 50 
Adrienne Rich
(American poet)

Adrienne Rich
3
Birthdate: May 16, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: March 27, 2012