16 Contemporary Female Authors You’re Probably Sleeping On

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You already probably know you're not reading as much as you promised yourself you would this year. But more importantly, you probably know you should be making more of an effort to focus on books, short stories, and essays written by female authors, particularly female authors of color and from international backgrounds.
It's 2017, and we are all ready to double down on amplifying the voices of our fellow female creatives. So here is an excellent chance to go through your bookshelves, clear out some of the old white dudes, and make some room for the badass women authors who are not only extremely talented but still alive (read: actually benefiting from those royalty checks, ya hear?). All of these authors' works will be in any bookstore or library near you, so you really have no excuse not to put on those cute reading glasses and post up in your favorite coffee shop.

1. Zadie Smith


Okay, so you definitely already know a bit about Zadie Smith, the young author and woman of color whose prose has stopped the literary world in its tracks for almost twenty years. You’ve heard of her, but if you haven’t gotten around to her work, you are seriously missing out.
Her debut, White Teeth, was published to critical acclaim when she was only twenty-five. At the age of twenty-seven, she was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and at twenty-nine was named among the top twenty most influential people in British Culture by a BBC poll. Her work is perfect for those looking for a sensitive and honest representation of complicated female relationships.

Books You Should Read: White Teeth, Changing My Mind, NW, Swing Time.

NOTE: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Zadie Smith had graduated from Barnard College. Zadie attended King's College, Cambridge from 1994 to 1997.