You definitely do not need an occasion to explore the amazing works that female authors have published, but International Women’s Day does give us an extra opportunity to celebrate the works of women from all over the world.  In this blog, we are sharing 3 female authors that we think you should choose the next time you are looking for a good read…

  1. Elena Ferrante

The first author we would like to recommend is Elena Ferrante, a pseudonymous novelist who is native Italian. Her first novel L’amore molesto was published in 1992 and was translated into English as Troubling Love. Her next, The Days of Abandonment, came ten years later and by then Ferrante was becoming a familiar name in Italy and her Italian publisher was confident that there was a wider audience for her writing.

In 2012, a year after it was released in Italy, the English language edition of My Brilliant Friend was published. Ferrante had originally intended the story to be contained in a single book but soon realised that the story was too expansive and so the novel is now one of four in the Neapolitan Quartet. The Neapolitan novels follow two friends, Elena and Lila, from an underprivileged neighbourhood in Naples and their journey throughout six decades.

By the time the final book in the series was published in 2015, Ferrante fever was certainly present! To date, the Neapolitan novels have sold 15 million copies worldwide, are published in 45 languages, and have been adapted into a critically-acclaimed TV series. Naples also attracts many tourists who are curious to learn about Ferrante’s work by taking a literary tour of the city.

Our recommendation: If you are looking at reading some of Elena Ferrante’s work we highly recommend the Neapolitan Novels starting with My Brilliant Friend.

  1. Olga Tokarczuk

Olga Tokarczuk was born in Sulechów in Poland and studied psychology at the University of Warsaw. She made her debut as a fiction writer in 1993 with Podróz ludzi Ksiegi (The Journey of the Book-People). Her real breakthrough came in 1996 with her third novel Prawiek i inne czasy (Primeval and Other Times).

Olga Tokarczuk has since written multiple novels and short stories and became more well-known to non-Polish speakers when her 2007 novel Flights was translated by Jennifer Croft and won the International Booker Prize. Not only has Olga Tokarczuk won the Booker International Prize, but she was also awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2019. Tokarczuk’s work has also been translated into over 30 languages and is celebrated by people worldwide.

Our recommendation: Whilst all of Olga Tokarczuk’s work is well worth a read, Flights tells the story of multiple characters that are interwoven to show an exploration of the human body, life’s journey and migration.

  1. Dorthe Nors 

Danish author Dorthe Nors is another female author whose work has been recognised internationally as she was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2017. Dorthe Nors studied literature and art history at the University of Aarhus. Nors has published multiple novels and short stories which have featured in popular publications in Denmark and worldwide, including the American magazine The New Yorker where she was the first Danish author to be featured.

Our recommendation: Mirror, Shoulder, Signal is set in Copenhagen and follows the story of a young woman (who happens to be a Swedish translator) who decides to learn to drive. This simple decision unlocks multiple other issues for the character including anxieties about family and romantic life. This novel is about age and womanhood and is a great read for this International Women’s Day!

There you have our top 3 female authors that we think you should read this International Women’s Day or any other day for that matter! There are plenty more female authors that we would also recommend but if you have a favourite female author please share with us in the comments below.

If you’d like to read another blog similar to this please read our 5 must-read books for Women in Translation Month.