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Top 9 Literary Heroines—Can You Suggest One More?

I rounded up my favorite literary heroines and came up with only nine! Any suggestions for number 10?

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Top 9 Literary Heroines—Can You Suggest One More?


#1 Scarlett O’Hara, “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell

There’s no heroine more determined than Scarlett O’Hara. The Civil War transforms her from a spoiled Georgia belle to a savvy survivor.

#2 Jo March, “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott

As a writer, I’m partial to the hardworking Jo. She dares to dream and leave the comfort of her home for New York.

#3 Elizabeth Bennet, "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

Lizzie has beauty, brains, musical talent, and integrity. She's not afraid to speak her mind. More importantly, she marries for love, contrary to society's expectations.

#4 Jane Eyre, "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë

Jane is the epitome of a strong female character—intelligent, passionate, and self-reliant. She goes through hardships, but she's resilient and comes out on top.

#5 Lisbeth Salander, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson

Lisbeth—a tattooed, kick-ass computer hacker— is the anti-heroine of our times. She does whatever it takes to fight back. I don't love Lisbeth, but she's someone I can't forget or ignore.

#6 Scout Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

Scout Finch is a precocious girl with an infectious curiosity. She's a keen observer—uninhibited in asking the tough questions about race.

#7 Clarice Starling, "The Silence of the Lambs" by Thomas Harris

Clarice Starling is intelligent, well-educated, ambitious, and most of all, she excels at her job as an FBI agent, which makes her the perfect match for Hannibal Lecter.

#8 Lucy Honeychurch, "A Room with a View" by E.M. Forster

Lucy starts out as a naïve girl, but she comes into her own at the end of the novel. She does the unthinkable in Edwardian society—she breaks off her engagement to Cecil and marries her true love, George.

#9 Tess Durbeyfield, "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy

Tess is a classic tragic heroine, the antithesis of Jane Eyre. Tess's forbearance makes her memorable.

I need one more literary heroine to complete this list. Any suggestions? Leave a comment.

Cindy Fazzi is a Philippine-born American writer who has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. She's a former Associated Press news staffer. Her debut romance, "In His Corner," was published under the pen name Vina Arno by Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp.