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Favorite Contemporary Fiction by Women Writers

"curlybee"
 
Kindred
Kindred
"Dana, a black writer married to a white man in the 1970s is magically transported back to the antebellum slave south to save her white ancestor, Rufus.  Absolutely captivating, a real page-turner!"
Cat's Eye
Cat's Eye
"Anyone who experienced the cunning, psychological bullying of adolescent girls will relate to this novel.  Extremely readable."
The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale
"A bleak futuristic society where female reproduction is a coveted ability.  Feminist  and politically-charged, the novel's protagonist still manages to engage the reader's sympathies."
Animal Dreams
Animal Dreams
"Barbara Kingsolver always astonishes me with her ability to make prose poetic.  My favorite of her novels, but the others are good, too, especially The Bean Trees."
The House on Mango Street
The House on Mango Street
"Deceptively simple, this short book is packed with evocative imagery (sprinkled with Spanish words) and loosely related episodes that manage to tie nicely together at the end."
Brown Girl, Brownstones
Brown Girl, Brownstones
"This is a beautiful and fierce coming-of-age story.  Selina, part of a family of Barbadian immigrants living in Brooklyn, must break free of her mother to discover her own identity as a woman."
The House of the Spirits
The House of the Spirits
"Isabel Allende's masterpiece of magical realism.  Absolutely wonderful family saga even with its painful descriptions of torture under a harsh militaristic regime."
In the Time of the Butterflies
In the Time of the Butterflies
"Like the House of Spirits, partially a political commentary and partially a deftly woven tapestry of characters.  Based on historical fact, Julia Alvarez has created a story of mythic proportions."
Bastard Out of Carolina
Bastard Out of Carolina
"I just finished reading this and loved it.  Allison's voice is so real and fresh and true.  There were some violent scenes that were difficult to read, but that only added to the great book this is."
Girl with a Pearl Earring: A Novel
Girl with a Pearl Earring: A Novel
"A friend lent me this historical fiction novel and I read it in one night.  I really loved the ending....for me, it really made the book the treasure that it is."
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe
"This is an old favorite of mine and I have reread it many times.  I have rarely read a book that made me laugh aloud so much yet also made me feel so much.  The movie is pretty good, too!"
Rubyfruit Jungle
Rubyfruit Jungle
"What makes this book so easy to fall in love with is the frankness and honesty of its narrator.  Truly a modern classic!"
Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies
Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies
"I love this novel, if for nothing more than the way it incorporates wonderful food into the lives of its characters.  Funny at times, heartbreaking at others."
The Memoirs of a Survivor
The Memoirs of a Survivor
"This is one of her lesser known books, but I think it is Lessing's best.  I found the ambivalent relationship between the narrator and the orphan girl she takes in without questions really touching."
Running in Heels: A Novel
Running in Heels: A Novel
"This is a very funny British book but also a book that affected me on many levels.  I couldn't put it down!  I like her other books but this one remains my favorite."
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)
"I read this in high school and loved every single "freakish" lonely misfit McCullers creates.  This book is about alienation and lack of connection but also about the beauty of love."
Jasmine
Jasmine
"If there were one book on this list I would like more people to read, this would be it.  It takes us through the various metamorphoses Jasmine undergoes and how her relationships with men change her."
Sula (Oprah's Book Club)
Sula (Oprah's Book Club)
"Sula, quite simply, is the novel that made me fall in love with contemporary female literature.  Have read this book more times than I can count.  In my opinion, better than Beloved.  A terrific book!"
The Women of Brewster Place (Penguin Contemporary American Fiction Series)
The Women of Brewster Place (Penguin Contemporary American Fiction Series)
"This is one of those books that resonate in your head long after you've finished reading it.  This author is addictive!"
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time Traveler's Wife
"An incredible first novel by Niffeneger.  I read this with my book club and we all thought it was an intricate and beautifully spun story of true love."
The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones
"Ok, I must say I was doubtful when I started reading this one, but it hooked me from the very first page.  I can't wait to read more by this author!"
The Fig Eater: A Novel
The Fig Eater: A Novel
"This amazing novel is mystery, psychological thriller, historical account, and a Freudian fiction all wrapped into one.  Much better than The White Hotel, which also borrows from Freudian psychology."
The Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club
"To me, Amy Tan is at her best in this first novel.  I love the parallel plots of mothers and daughters and how she uses symbolism and imagery so well throughout this beautiful collection of stories."
The Color Purple
The Color Purple
"I loved this book the first time I read it, and have loved it even more each subsequent rereading.  Walker knows when to write succinctly but also manages to make this story poetic."