Famous Women Authors11:48 PM
Female authors have made many important contributions to literature over the years. Some receive immediate praise and reap significant financial rewards, while others are not recognized for their accomplishments until after they have passed away.
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Jane Austen is one the most beloved female authors of all time. In a span of five years, beginning in 1811, she wrote four of the most well-known books in English literature; “Sense and Sensibility”, “Pride and Prejudice”, “Emma”, and “Mansfield Park”. Three of these novels have been made into major motion pictures. The genius of Austen’s writing did not begin to become appreciated until almost 100 years after her death, which was in 1817. Recently, an almost cult-like following has developed among her fans, particularly those who live in the United States. They call themselves “Janeites.” Two examples of their devotion are the Jane Austen Society of North America which has 4,500 members and Jane Austen conventions where devotees dress up in period costumes and discuss their own sequels to some of Austen’s stories. English writer Charles Colton’s famous quote “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” applies in spades to Jane Austen.
Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott was a 19th century American author. Her most well-known title is “Little Women” which was published in 1868. It is still a favorite today, particularly with adolescent girls. The novel is semi-autobiographical; it is about a family of four girls, just like Alcott’s. The follow-up novels to “Little Women”; “Good Wives”, “Little Men” and “Jo’s Boys,” were also well-received. Alcott associated with some of the brightest scholars of her time including Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. She is buried close to the three of them in Concord, Massachusetts cemetery on a hill referred to as “Authors Ridge.”
Tony Morrison was born in 1931. She is one of the most acclaimed authors of her time, and writes primarily about the black experience in America. She has won both the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes. President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is most prestigious civilian award that can be bestowed, in 2012. Some of her most famous novels include “Song of Solomon,” which won the 1993 Nobel Prize in literature, “The Bluest Eye,” and “Beloved,” which was made into a feature film starring Oprah Winfrey.
J. K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling is a British writer and the author of the Harry Potter series. Her books have sold over 400 million copies. The first Harry Potter book was published in 1997, and the seven book series is the best-selling one in history. The books were all made into movies. There is also a Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Florida. The success of all these endeavors made Rowling a billionaire. She was recently downgraded by Forbes from a billionaire to millionaire due to her $160 million dollars in charitable contributions. She has been the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards including the Order of the British Empire, British Children’s Book of the Year, and Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award.
These four female writers have all made important contributions. From books set in 19th century England’s to modern day wizards on broomsticks, they have all enriched the literary landscape.
That said, I expect many more women will make their mark as authors in the years to come.