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Word Weavers


This is a limited selection of fictional works for adults and older teens, written by women of various national and ethnic identities. Most of the material is from the 20th Century but some historical works are also included, with publication date in parentheses. Following the author’s name is her ethnicity and/or nationality as known, and a representative or popular work by her.

Ama Ata Aidoo — Ghanaian — Our Sister Killjoy
Isabel Allende — Chilean — The House of the Spirits
Julia Alvarez — Dominican American — How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
Maeve Binchy — Irish — Circle of Friends
Karen Blixen — Danish — Seven Gothic Tales
(born Christentze Dinesen; used Isak Dinesen as a pseudonym for her works published in English)
Charlotte Bronte — Irish-English — Jane Eyre (1847)
Octavia E. Butler — African-American — Parable of the Talents 
Angela Carter — British — Nights at the Circus
Willa Cather [born Wilella Sibert Cather] — Anglo-American — Sapphira and the Slave Girl
Kate Chopin — French-Irish-American — The Awakening and Other Stories


Sandra Cisneros — Mexican-American — The House on Mango Street
Edwidge Danticat — Haitian-American — Breath, Eyes, Memory
Mazo DeLaRoche [born Maxo Roche] — Canadian — Jalna
Anita Desai — German-Bengali — Clear Light of Day
George Eliot [born Mary Anne Evans] — British — Adam Bede (1859)
Buchi Emecheta — Nigerian — The Bride Price
Louise Erdrich — Chippewa-German-American — Love Medicine
Laura Esquivel — Mexican — Like Water for Chocolate
[Stella] Miles Franklin — Australian — My Brilliant Career (1901)


Cristina Garcia — Cuban-American — Dreaming in Cuban
Charlotte Perkins Gilman — Anglo-American — The Yellow Wallpaper (1892/1899)
Natalia Ginzberg — Jewish-Italian — All Our Yesterdays
Nadine Gordimer — Anglo-Jewish-Afrikaaner — Burger’s Daughter
Rosa Guy — Trinidadian-American — My Love, My Love: or The Peasant Girl
Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn — Filipino-American — Dog Eaters
Shirley Hazzard — Australian — The Transit of Venus
Anne Hebert — French-Canadian — In the Shadow of the Wind
Ursula Hegi — German-American — Stones From the River
Minfong Ho — Chinese-Singaporean — Rice Without Rain
Linda Hogan — Chickasaw-American — The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir
Nalo Hopkinson — Caribbean-Canadian — Brown Girl in the Ring 
Keri Hulme — Maori-New Zealander — The Bone People
Gish Jen [born Lillian Jen] — Chinese-American — Mona in the Promised Land
Zhang Jie — Chinese — Heavy Wings


Jamaica Kincaid [born Elaine Potter Richardson] — Antiguan — Annie John
Maxine Hong Kingston — Chinese-American — Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book
Winona LaDuke — Anishinaabe-Jewish-American — Last Standing Woman
Jhumpa Lahiri — Bengali-American — Interpreter of Maladies
Margaret Laurence — Scots-Irish-Canadian — The Stone Angel
Catherine Lim — Malaysian-Singaporean — The Bondmaid
Kamala Markandaya — Indo-Anglian — A Handful of Rice
Ngaio Marsh — Anglo-New Zealander — Vintage Murder 
Paule Marshall — Barbadian-American — Praisesong For the Widow
Anna Mitgutsch — Austrian — Three Daughters
Rosa Montero — Spanish — Absent Love: A Chronicle
Toni Morrison [born Chloe Anthony Wofford] — African-American — Beloved
Mourning Dove — Okanogan — Cogewea, the Half-Blood
[Native name Hum-Ishu-Ma] Alice Munro — Canadian — Friend of My Youth: Stories
Murasaki [aka Murasaki Shikibu] — Japanese — The Tale of Genji (ca. 1010)


Anais Nin — Danish-French-Spanish-American — Under a Glass Bell, and Other Stories
Flora Nwapa — Nigerian — This is Lagos
Silvina Ocampo — Argentinian — Leopoldina’s Dream
Ann Petry — African-American — The Street
Marge Piercy — Jewish-Welsch-American — Woman On the Edge of Time
Susan Power — Sioux — The Grass Dancer
Santha Rama Rau — Indo-Anglian — Remember the House
Jean Rhys [born Gwendolen Rees Williams] — Anglo-Creole-Dominican — Voyage in the Dark
Merce Rodoreda — Catalonian-Spanish — The Time of the Doves
Ninotchka Rosca — Filipino — Twice Blessed
Laura Joh Rowland — Korean-Chinese-American — Shinju 
Gabrielle Roy — French-Canadian — Street of Riches
George Sand [born Aurore Dupin] — French — Lelia (1833)
Dori Sanders — African-American — Clover
Bapsi Sidhwa — Pakistani — Cracking India


Leslie Marmon Silko — Native-Mexican-Anglo-American — Almanac of the Dead
Amalie Skram — Danish-Norwegian — Under Observation
Lillian E. Smith — American — Strange Fruit
Christina Stead — Australian — The Man Who Loved Children
Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto — Japanese — A Daughter of the Nohfu
Amy Tan [born Tu Ching Tan] — Chinese-American — The Joy Luck Club
Esther Tusquets — Spanish — The Same Sea as Every Summer
Sigrid Undset — Norwegian — The Cross
Anastasya Verbitskaya — Russian — Keys to Happiness
Eudora Welty — Anglo-Swiss-American — The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
Dorothy West — African-American — The Living is Easy
Christa Wolf — German — Cassandra: A Novel and Four Essays
[Adeline] Virginia Woolf — British — A Room of One’s Own
Banana Yoshimoto — Japanese — Kitchen


For information about female authors from varied ethnic or cultural backgrounds on the World Wide Web, try this site: A Celebration of Women Writers.

mysicon — indicates mystery title

sficon — indicates science fiction or fantasy title

Printed List March 2000 bwc, with contributions from rs, jt, pl, mjk, ag, cac, pl | Updated and expanded for the Web February 2004 sdc / last updated September 2016 sdc