Skip To Content

    10 Amazing Female Novelists Under 50

    Forget Virginia Woolf! You should be reading these contemporary female novelists. (Just kidding about Virginia Woolf, though. Never stop reading her.)

    1. Jhumpa Lahiri

    Internaz / Via Flickr: internaz

    “Remember that you and I made this journey and went together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.” —The Namesake

    2. Porochista Khakpour

    trbimg.com

    “Don’t ask for advice too much. Go with you, as gritty as that might be at times.” —The Last Illusion

    3. Bina Shah

    “As Shah Abdul Latif had written in the epic poetry she adored, life was about separation and loss; she had been through the cycle time and time again, exiled from her beautiful Sindh, forced to wander for years, away from the love of her life.” —A Season for Martyrs

    4. Ru Freeman

    graphics8.nytimes.com

    “There is no right and wrong, and precepts are for fools. Every thing is just as it is! And we must experience things without condemning them, because if we condemn them, then we are becoming too involved.” —A Disobedient Girl

    5. Taiye Selasi

    static.theglobeandmail.ca

    “’Loss’ is a notion. No more than a thought. Which one forms or one doesn’t. With words. Such that one cannot lose, nor ever say he has lost, what he does not permit to exist in his mind.”—Ghana Must Go

    6. Maaza Mengiste

    worldliteraturetoday.org

    “When you are convinced that everything that happens is the will of God, what is there to do but wait until God has mercy?” —Beneath the Lion’s Gaze

    7. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Chris Boland / Via chrisboland.com

    “Race doesn't really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don't have that choice.” —Americanah

    8. Eleanor Catton

    images.theage.com.au

    “If I have learned one thing from experience, it is this: never underestimate how extraordinarily difficult it is to understand a situation from another person's point of view.”—The Luminaries

    9. NoViolet Bulawayo

    static-secure.guim.co.uk

    “When things fall apart, the children of the land scurry and scatter like birds escaping a burning sky.” —We Need New Names

    10. Vaddey Ratner

    static.guim.co.uk

    “There is no greater humiliation than hunger.” —In the Shadow of the Banyan