Celebrate Women’s History Month by reading some great women authors!

The U.S. has celebrated Women’s History Month since 1987 when Congress expanded Women’s History Week to include the entire month of March. Check out a book from one of these great American women authors to celebrate women’s history in the United States:

Louisa May Alcott – Mostly educated by her father, Alcott was determined to contribute to the small family income and worked as a servant and a seamstress before she made her fortune as a writer. She first achieved wide fame and wealth with Little Women (1868), one of the most popular children’s books ever written. The novel, which recounts the adolescent adventures of the four March sisters, is largely autobiographical, the author herself being represented by the spirited Jo March.

Kate Chopin – Of Creole-Irish descent, Chopin married (1870) a Louisiana businessman and lived with him in Natchitoches parish and New Orleans. In these places she acquired an intimate knowledge of Creole and Cajun life, upon which she was to draw in many of her stories. Two collections of tales, Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897), earned her a reputation as a local colorist, but her novel The Awakening (1899) caused a storm of criticism because of its treatment of feminine sexuality.

Toni Morrison – The first African-American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Morrison’s fiction is noted for its poetic language, lush detail, emotional intensity, and sensitive observation of American life as viewed from a variety of African-American perspectives. Song of Solomon (1977; National Book Award) established her as one of America’s leading novelists. She was an influential editor at Random House for nearly two decades, and has been a professor at Princeton University since 1989.

Sylvia Plath – Plath published poems even as a child and won many academic and literary awards. Her poetry is at once highly disciplined, well crafted, and intensely personal, and her late poems reveal an objective detachment from life and a growing fascination with death. Her one novel, The Bell Jar (1971), originally published in England under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas, is autobiographical, a fictionalized account of a nervous breakdown she suffered when in college. Plath committed suicide in London in 1963.

Ayn Rand – Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Rand came to the United States in 1926 and worked for many years as a screenwriter. Her novels are romantic and dramatic, and they espouse a philosophy of rational self-interest that opposes the collective of the modern welfare state. Her best-known novels include The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957). In For the New Intellectual (1961) she summarized her philosophy, which she called “objectivism.”

Alice Walker – The daughter of sharecroppers, Walker studied at Spelman College (1961–63) and Sarah Lawrence College (B.A., 1965). She brings her travel experience in Africa and memories of the American civil-rights movement to an examination of the experience of African Americans, mainly in the South, and of Africans. A self-described “womanist,” she has maintained a strong focus on feminist issues within African-American culture. Walker won wide recognition with her novel The Color Purple (1982; Pulitzer Prize), a dark but sometimes joyous saga of a poor black Southern woman’s painful journey toward self-realization.

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Information for the authors in this entry was taken from infoplease.com.

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