The English PEN list of influential books by women

english pen books by women copy

Last month, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction launched an online campaign to discover what the public felt were the top twenty most influential novels written by women. Inspired to share the stories by women that have most impressed us, English PEN staff came up with a rejoinder to the Baileys Prize list. Presenting: The English PEN list of influential books by women!

What would you nominate?


The English PEN list of influential books by women:

  1. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula Le Guin
  2. The Story of an African Farm – Olive Schreiner
  3. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
  4. The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir
  5. My Brilliant Career – Miles Franklin
  6. Comet in Moominland – Tove Jansson
  7. Silent Spring – Rachel Carson
  8. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
  9. Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
  10. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  11. Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  12. Nightwood – Djuna Barnes
  13. After Leaving Mr Mackenzie – Jean Rhys
  14. The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula Le Guin
  15. The Sadeian Women – Angela Carter
  16. The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
  17. To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  18. The Passion of New Eve – Angela Carter
  19. A Woman in the Crossfire – Samar Yazbek

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24 Comments on “The English PEN list of influential books by women”

  1. Middlemarch by George Eliot
    Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
    The Invisible Worm by Jennifer Johnston
    A Visit from the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan
    To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

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