Women Novelists

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

Throughout history, there have been many women novelists who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female novelists such as Lucy Maud Montgomery, J. K. Rowling, Harper Lee, Mary Shelley, Simone de Beauvoir.The women novelists featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Australia and many more countries.
Vote for Your Favourite Women Novelists
 1 
Agatha Christie
6
Birthdate: September 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Torquay, Devon, England
Died: January 12, 1976

Even after four decades after her death, Agatha Christie remains an influential figure in the world of literature and entertainment as most of her books continue to serve as inspiration to films, TV series, and video games. With over two billion copies of her novels sold, she holds the Guinness World Records for best-selling fiction writer of all time.

 2 
Jane Austen
(Novelist)
Jane Austen
11
Birthdate: December 16, 1775
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampshire, England
Died: July 18, 1817

Considered one of the greatest writers in English history, Jane Austen is best known for her six major novels - Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Her writing was set among the British landed gentry and dealt with ordinary people in everyday ordinary situation. The author achieved great fame after her death. 

 3 
Virginia Woolf
(One of the Most Important Modernist 20th-Century Authors)
Virginia Woolf
8
Birthdate: January 25, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England
Died: March 28, 1941

Virginia Woolf was an English writer who pioneered a narrative mode called stream of consciousness to describe the thoughts and feelings of the narrator. Regarded as one of the most prominent modernist 20th-century writers, Woolf's works have gained much attention for inspiring feminism. Her life and work have inspired several films, novels, and plays.

 4 
Mary Shelley
(British Author Best Known for Her Gothic Novel ‘Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus’)
Mary Shelley
6
Birthdate: August 30, 1797
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Somers Town, London, England
Died: February 1, 1851
An author who was admired for her exploration of the Gothic genre, Mary Shelley is best remembered for her novel Frankenstein. She also edited the works of her husband, Romantic poet P.B. Shelley. She lost her husband to a drowning accident and eventually passed away due to brain tumor.
 5 
Margaret Atwood
(Poet, Novelist, Literary Critic & Environmental Activist)
Margaret Atwood
6
Birthdate: November 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet and novelist. Her works encompass themes, such as religion and myth, climate change, and gender and identity. An award-winning writer, many of Atwood's works have been made into films and television series; her work, The Handmaid's Tale, has had several adaptations. Perhaps, Margaret Atwood's most important contribution is her invention of the LongPen device.

 6 
Harper Lee
(Novelist)
Harper Lee
5
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.

 7 
Louisa May Alcott
4
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.
 8 
Toni Morrison
(Novelist)
Toni Morrison
4
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.
 9 
Ayn Rand
(Writer and Philosopher Known for Her Best-Selling Novels ‘The Fountainhead’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’)
Ayn Rand
6
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.

 10 
Charlotte Bronte
6
Birthdate: April 21, 1816
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Thornton, Yorkshire, England
Died: March 31, 1855
Charlotte Bronte, remembered for her iconic novel Jane Eyre, was one of the most significant literary figures of the 19th century. She was the eldest of the Bronte sisters who survived into adulthood. She and her sisters Emily and Anne wrote under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
 11 
George Eliot
(Poet & Novelist)
George Eliot
5
Birthdate: November 22, 1819
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
Died: December 22, 1880

Mary Ann Evans, known by her pseudonym George Eliot, was an English poet, novelist, translator, and journalist. One of the most prominent writers of the Victorian era, Eliot's works are known for their psychological insight, realism, and detailed description of the countryside. Her novel Middlemarch was voted one of the greatest literary works in a 2007 poll conducted by Time.

 12 
Emily Brontë
(Novelist)
Emily Brontë
5
Birthdate: July 30, 1818
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Thornton, West Yorkshire
Died: December 19, 1848
Victorian novelist/poet Emily Brontë, also known as Ellis Bell, is best remembered for her iconic novel Wuthering Heights. Her book of poems, written with her sisters Charlotte and Anne, was titled Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, highlighting their pseudonyms. She suffered from prolonged illness and died of tuberculosis.
 13 
Mary Wollstonecraft
5
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.

 14 
Isabel Allende
(Chilean-American Author Known for Her Novels: ‘The House of the Spirits’ and ‘City of the Beasts’)
Isabel Allende
5
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.
 15 
Daphne du Maurier
4
Birthdate: May 13, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 19, 1989

Daphne du Maurier was an English playwright and author. Many of her works, which have been praised for narrative craft, have been adapted into films, including three of Alfred Hitchcock's movies. Such was her popularity that she was selected along with four other Women of Achievement to be featured on a set of British stamps, which were issued in 1996.

 16 
J. K. Rowling
(Author of Children's Fantasy Series, 'Harry Potter')
J. K. Rowling
17
Birthdate: July 31, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yate, England

JK Rowling’s story is that of rags-to-riches. She is the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series, which have sold more than 500 million copies and is the best-selling book series in history. She also writes crime fiction albeit under a pen name. Rowling supports many charities and has founded Lumos, an international NGO, working for children.

 17 
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.

 18 
Lauren Graham
(Actress and Author Best Known for Her Role as ‘Lorelai Gilmore’ in the TV Series ‘Gilmore Girls’)
Lauren Graham
6
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.

 19 
MacKenzie Scott
(Novelist, Ex-Wife of Jeff Bezos)
MacKenzie Scott
6
Birthdate: April 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
 20 
Lucy Hawking
(Journalist, Novelist, Writer)
Lucy Hawking
4
Birthdate: November 2, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: England
Lucy Hawking, daughter of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking, has been a journalist with New York Magazine, The Times, and The Telegraph. She has also authored several children's books, such as George's Secret Key to the Universe. She is the VP of National Star College and also works for autism research.
 21 
Zelda Fitzgerald
(Socialite & Referred to as 'The first American Flapper' by Her Husband 'F. Scott Fitzgerald')
Zelda Fitzgerald
4
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.

 22 
Stacey Dash
(Actress)
Stacey Dash
6
Birthdate: January 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA
 23 
Zadie Smith
(Writer, Novelist, Essayist)
Zadie Smith
4
Birthdate: October 25, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London

Author Zadie Smith was born in London to a British father and a Jamaican mother. Her bestselling debut novel, White Teeth, won numerous awards and catapulted her to fame, while her third novel, On Beauty, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She has also taught fiction at New York University.

 24 
Nicolle Wallace
(American Television Host and Former White House Communications Director (2005 - 2006))
Nicolle Wallace
4
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.

 25 
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.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4
Birthdate: September 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Enugu, Nigeria

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer and feminist. She is popular for writing novels, such as Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. She is credited with popularizing African literature among a new generation of readers, especially in the United States. In 2015, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People.

 27 
Alice Walker
(The First African-American Woman to Win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
Alice Walker
4
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.
 28 
Shirley Jackson
5
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
 29 
Enid Blyton
(Best Selling Children's Writer of the 20th Century Known for Her Works 'Malory Towers' & 'The Famous Five')
Enid Blyton
5
Birthdate: August 11, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: East Dulwich, London, England
Died: November 28, 1968
Author Enid Blyton is best remembered for her iconic children’s book series such as Famous Five, Malory Towers, and Secret Seven, majorly focusing on mystery-based plots. Her works have made her the fourth-most-translated writer. She had supported animal and paediatric charities. Her story inspired the BBC film Enid.
 30 
Gertrude Stein
(American Novelist, Poet and Playwright)
Gertrude Stein
5
Birthdate: February 3, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: 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.

 31 
Zora Neale Hurston
(Folklorist, Anthropologist)
Zora Neale Hurston
4
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.

 32 
Anne Rice
5
Birthdate: October 4, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: December 11, 2021
 33 
Colette
(Best Known for Her Novel 'Gigi')
Colette
4
Birthdate: January 28, 1873
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, France
Died: August 3, 1954

Colette was a French author who received a nomination for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. She is remembered for her novella Gigi, which inspired the 1958 movie and the 1973 musical of the same name. Her life and work have inspired several films, including the 2018 biographical drama film Colette, where Keira Knightley played the title role.

 34 
Valerie Plame
4
Birthdate: August 13, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.
 35 
Anais Nin
(French-Born American Novelist, Diarist and Short Story Writer)
Anais Nin
5
Birthdate: February 21, 1903
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, France
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.

 36 
Octavia Butler
(Science fiction author)
Octavia Butler
5
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.

 37 
Beverly Cleary
4
Birthdate: April 12, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: McMinnville, Oregon, United States
Died: March 25, 2021
 38 
Jackie Collins
(Novelist)
Jackie Collins
8
Birthdate: October 4, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England, UK
Died: September 19, 2015
 39 
Diana Gabaldon
(Author Known for Her 'Outlander' Series of Novels)
Diana Gabaldon
4
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.

 40 
Martha Gellhorn
(Novelist & Travel writer)
Martha Gellhorn
4
Birthdate: November 8, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: February 15, 1998
 41 
Sally Rooney
(Novelist)
Sally Rooney
4
Birthdate: February 20, 1991
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland
 42 
V. C. Andrews
(Novelist)
V. C. Andrews
5
Birthdate: June 6, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
Died: December 19, 1986
 43 
Fannie Flagg
(Actress)
Fannie Flagg
5
Birthdate: September 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, USA
George Sand
4
Birthdate: July 1, 1804
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: June 8, 1876
Nineteenth-century French author Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, better known as George Sand, became a leading figure of the Romantic era of Europe. She is best remembered for works such as La Petite Fadette and had numerous affairs, the most notable of them being the one with composer Frédéric Chopin.
 45 
Sheila Hancock
4
Birthdate: February 22, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Blackgang, Isle of Wight, England, UK
 46 
Patricia Highsmith
5
Birthdate: January 19, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Died: February 4, 1995
 47 
Gillian Flynn
5
Birthdate: February 24, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, USA
 48 
Edith Wharton
5
Birthdate: January 24, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 11, 1937
 49 
Danielle Steel
6
Birthdate: August 14, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
 50 
N. K. Jemisin
(Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer Known for Her 'Inheritance' Trilogy)
N. K. Jemisin
5
Birthdate: September 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa, United States

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.