In List#1, we featured great traditional works of narrative fiction by women. But what happens when you only allow one title per author, and include works translated into English?
Here is List #2…an alternatively configured essential list of 100 works of narrative fiction by women, each author represented by one central and game changing work. If there was a tie, the additional work is mentioned. Works are chronologically listed.
How many have you read?
The Tale of Genji,Muraski Shikibu, 11th century. Japanese.
Evelina, Fanny Burney, England, 1778.
The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliff, England,1794.
Castle Rackrent, Maria Edgeworth, England, 1800.
Persuasion, Jane Austen, England 1818 (tied with Pride and Prejudice, 1813).
Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, England, 1818.
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte, England, 1845.
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte, England, 1847.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte, England, 1848.
La Petite Fadette (Fanchon, the Cricket), George Sand , France, 1849 (tied with Mauprat, 1837).
Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, Harriet Beecher Stowe, United States, 1852.
Cranford, Elizabeth Gaskell, England, 1853. (tied with North and South, 1855).
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott, United States, 1868.
Middlemarch, A Study of Provincial Life, George Eliot, England, 1871.
“The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman, United States, 1892.
The Awakening, Kate Chopin, United States, 1899.
Claudine a L’ecole (Claudine at School), Colette, France, 1900.
Jerusalem, Selma Lagerlöf , Sweden, 1901. *
The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton, United States, 1905 (tied with The Custom of the Country, 1913).***
The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Orczy, Hungary, 1905.
The Return of the Soldier, Rebecca West, England, 1918.
Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset, Norway, 1920. *
The Garden Party and Other Stories, Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand, 1922.
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf, England, 1925.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd ,Agatha Christie, England, 1926.***
Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather, United States, 1927. *
Dusty Answer, Rosamond Lehmann, English, 1927.
The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall, England, 1928.
Passing, Nella Larson, United States, 1929.
The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck, United States, 1931. **
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons, England, 1932.
Gaudy Night, Dorothy Sayers, England, 1935.
Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, United States, 1936. *
Nightwood, Djuna Barnes, United States, 1936.
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston, United States, 1937.
Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen/Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke, England, Denmark, 1937. *
The Death of the Heart, Elizabeth Bowen, England, 1938.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers, United States, 1940.
“Lihaaf” (The Quilt) , Ismat Chughtai, India, 1942.
The Seventh Cross, Anna Seghers, Germany, 1942. **
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith, United States, 1943.
The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford, England, 1945.
The Harp in the South, Ruth Park, New Zealand/Australia, 1948.***
The Lottery and other Stories, Shirley Jackson, United States, 1949.**
Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness), Françoise Sagan, France, 1954.
Under the Net, Iris Murdoch, Ireland/England, 1954 (tied with The Sea, The Sea, 1978).**
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith, England, 1955. **
The Mandarins, Simone De Beauvoir, France, 1956. **
Angel, Elizabeth Taylor, England, 1957.
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, United States, 1960. *
The Country Girls , Edna O’Brien, Ireland, 1960.***
Family Ties (Laços de família ), Clarice Lispector , Brazil, 1960 (tied with Água Viva 1973. *
The Violent Bear it Away, Flannery O’Connor, United States, 1960 (tied with The Complete Stories, 1971).**
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark, England, 1961**
The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing, Persia/United Kingdom, 1962 (tied with The Diary of a Good Neighbor, 1983.***
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath, United States, 1963.
The Millstone , Margaret Drabble, England, 1965.
The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, Katherine Anne Porter, United States, 1965.***
Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys, Dominica, British West Indies, 1966.***
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou, United States, 1969.**
Them, Joyce Carol Oates, United States, 1969.***
The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison, United States, 1970.***
The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford, Jean Stafford, United States, 1970.*
Lives of Girls and Women, Alice Munro, Canada, 1971.***
The Summer Book (Sommarboken), Tove Jansson, Finland, 1972.***
The Optimist’s Daughter, Eudora Welty, United States, 1972.***
The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, Ursula K. Le Guin, United States, 1974 (tied with LHOD, 1969).***
Ceremony, Leslie Marmon Silko, Native American/United States, 1977.*
The Joys of Motherhood, Buchi Emecheta, Nigeria, 1979.**
Offshore , Penelope Fitzgerald, England, 1979.**
The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter, United Kingdom , 1979.***
Housekeeping , Marilynne Robinson, United States, 1980.***
July’s People, Nadine Gordimer, South Africa, 1981.***
The Color Purple, Alice Walker, United States, 1982.**
The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende, Chile, 1982.***
The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros, Mexican-American, 1984.**
L’amant (The Lover), Margurite Duras, France, 1984.**
The Collected Prose, Elizabeth Bishop, United States, 1984.***
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood, Canada, 1985.***
“The Shawl”, Cynthia Ozick, United States, 1989.***
Possession, A.S. Byatt, England, 1990.***
Regeneration, Pat Barker, England, 1991.***
The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields, Canada, 1993.***
Stones From the River, Ursula Hegi, German-born United States, 1994.*
The Collected Stories of Grace Paley, Grace Paley,United States,1994.*
Follow Your Heart (Va’ dove ti porta il cuore), Susanna Tamaro, Italy, 1994.***
The Wedding, Dorothy West, United States, 1995.
The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy, India, 1997.***
The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver, United States, 1998.**
The Transit of Venus, Shirley Hazzard, Australia, 1980.**
White Teeth, Zadie Smith, England, 2000.***
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi, Iran/published in France, 2000.***
The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri, India/United States, 2004 (tied with Interpreter of Maladies, 1999).***
The Skin of the Sky, Elena Poniatowska, France/Mexico, 2001.***
Granada: A Novel, Radwa Ashour, Egypt, 2003.*
March, Geraldine Brooks, United States, 2005 (tied with People of the Book, 2008).***
The Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai, India,2006.**
Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigeria, 2007 (tied with Americanah, 2013).***
Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel, England, 2009.***
The Moor’s Account, Laila Lalami, United States, 2015.*
*The author and/or work has won or has been a finalist for at least one major literary award.
** The author and/or work has won or has been a finalist for at least two major literary awards.
*** The author and/or work has won or has been a finalist for three or more major literary awards.