Ten Female Authors You Should Read
Happy International Women's Day!
I've always tried to carve a fair place to female writing on this site and God knows it hasn't been easy. Publishing is such a male-centric business, simple things like getting suggestions for female author I would like and sorting out which suggestions are actually backed by actual publishing hype is difficult. Difficult, but not impossible. Here's a curated list of K-I-I-L-L-L-E-R female authors I have read, reviewed and thoroughly love. Women are better than us at whatever they feel like and it's time to celebrate that fact. Here are 10 female authors you should DEFINITELY read. And recommendations for which books I think you should begin with.
One of the best authors in the game, period. Megan Abbott writes dark psychological thrillers with hardboiled and horror influence that often feature teenage girls exploring their darker side. Her novels are mysteriously hard to find in Canada, so I haven't read many of them. She always knocks it out of the park, though. Always. HBO bought rights to some of Megan Abbott's material, so keep her name in mind.
Another budding literary superstar. Her novel Broken Monsters was warmly recommended to me by several readers and it did NOT disappoint. Lauren Beukes' sprawling supernatural thriller is one of these novels that have a city (in this case Detroit) for main character and delivers an original and intricate intrigue. I'm barely getting to know this super talented author and I WILL be reviewing her latest short story collection tomorrow, so stay tuned.
Another new girl on the block that blew me away right off the bat. Leza Cantoral's mind is like no other place I know. Cold, hard reality, imaginary worlds and pop culture intertwine to create a unique and original paradigm that is her work. Ever wondered what the girls raised on Disney princesses that didn't become prom queen turned out to be? Read Leza Cantoral to find out.
Here's a name you probably haven't heard in a while. Hilary Davidson made a name for herself in the publishing industry with the Lily Moore thrillers, a travel writer with a tumultuous past that keeps catching up to her. What sets her apart is her knack for Hitchcockian suspense and unexpected plot twists. Her thrillers keep redefining their scope as you read them and will blow your fucking mind multiple times before they're over.
One of my revelations of 2016. Juliet Escoria writes with an anger that burns bright and violence that transcends simple blood shed. I've taken a flier on her poetry collection Witch Hunt last summer and it nailed me to the fucking wall. Escoria feels alive both in her darkness and her moments of grace, which is something most authors cannot even aspire to. She has been getting a lot of hype from the indie publishing community for the last couple years and it's well-deserved.
Long-time reader of this site know my appreciation of Jennifer Hillier's work. Whenever I think I've figured out what kind of writer she is, she finds a way to redefine my expectations and expand on popular tropes way beyond what other authors do. The sequel to her debut serial killer novel Freak was my first paradigm shift moment with Hillier's work, but it doesn't compare to the superb Wonderland, which she released in 2015.
I didn't know what to expect from Jessica McHugh's novel The Green Kangaroos when her publisher graciously sent it to me a couple years ago. Her death-defying hairstyles and hyper-verbose style on social media are very entertaining, but it usually means an author is either very good or very bad. In McHugh's case it was definitely the former. She writes with an energy and a fearlessness I can only admire and envy.
I've already said a whole lot about my admiration for Tiffany Scandal's books. I've included her in other top 10s already. The emotional immediacy of her writing is second to none. The way she discusses vulnerability like it's a strength is absolutely enlightening and empowering. Just fucking read Tiffany Scandal already. I'm tired of telling you and I'm tired of seeing you missing the boat on an incredible emerging talent.
My other revelation of 2016. Not only Walters can flat out write, but she is also elite at scaring the crap out of you. Horror is one of the hardest genres to write because finding your own way of unmistakably freaking people out requires to unmistakably freak your own self out first and foremost and I'm sure Walters' novel Paper Tigers did just that. Most terrifying thing I've read in 2016 south of Laird Barron's work.
Here's an author I haven't talked about NEARLY enough in 2016. That is mostly due to the fact I have read only one of her book: the short, but terrific Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear LuLu. Holy shit, was that ever good or what? Yardley is one of these writers who got their "thing", which no other can do quite like them. She explores raw and universal emotions such as love, fear or redemption within a dark thriller setting, which is absolutely mind-bending. An author of great talent and I'm really looking forward to discover more of her work.