5 Authors Popular with Women


The written word continues to rule human hearts and minds, despite so many new modes of recreation and dissemination of information. Women readers especially look for authors who can describe the interweaving of the emotional, physical and cultural aspects of the female existence in a way that is accepting of the past and hopeful of the future. These and many more themes recur in the works of the following authors who are extremely popular with female readers across the world. Reading them will give you an insight into the reading habits of millions of women.

  1. J. K. Rowling

    Joanne Knowles Rowling stormed the literary scene in 2001 with her first book about the magical world of the boy wizard, Harry Potter. Ever since, her books have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide and been adapted into billion-dollar making movies. The 2008 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling’s fortune at £560 million or $798 million, ranking her as the twelfth richest woman in the United Kingdom.  Though ostensibly targeting young readers, the themes of love, courage and acceptance in the books strike a chord with all of Rowling’s women readers. Especially moving bits are the plight of the orphaned Harry and his mother’s sacrifice which eventually saves his life as an infant. The content of the books gains an added dimension when placed in the context of the author’s own life; even as she was writing the first book, Rowling was struggling to cope with her mother’s death, a failed marriage, single parenthood, clinical depression and unemployment. The phenomenal success which followed the release of her books however is a beacon of faith and hope to all women out there who no matter how trying their circumstances, never stop dreaming of stories to tell.
  2. Danielle Steel

    Danielle Steel is today considered the best-selling author among those living. Her novels have spent over 390 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and 22 of them have been adapted for television. In fact her works have sold an incredible 800 million copies worldwide and this alone suffices to consider her as one of the most popular authors with female readers. Steel’s novels largely explore the world of the rich and famous and frequently deal with serious life issues, like illness, death, loss, family crises, and relationships. Though all these themes appeal to women readers, critics have often derided Steel’s writing for being formulaic and excessively detailed. In her recent novels, Steel’s characters, particularly the female protagonists seem more evolved and exhibit strongly individual personalities as compared to her earlier heroines who were largely over-the-top and thus rather artificial. Though best known for romance and drama, Steel has also written for children as in case of the Max and Martha series as well as the Freddie series.

  3. Toni Morrison

    Apart from being a prize-winning author, Toni Morrison is also an editor, professor and activist. Among her best known novels are The bluest eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved even though she has also written several short stories, plays, non-fiction and children’s literature – the last in collaboration with her now-deceased son Slade Morrison. The main attractions in her writing are the epic themes, vivid dialogue and richly detailed characters. At the same time her exploration of the complex interrelationships of race and gender makes for compelling reading among women readers, especially in the African-American community. Interestingly though, although Morrison’s novels typically concentrate on black women, she does not identify her works as feminist; she would much rather lay claim to an equitable philosophy which offers equal opportunities to both genders. In 1988, Toni Morrison received the Pulitzer Prize for her novel beloved and around five years later in 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature; incidentally she is the last American to have been awarded the honor as of now.
  4. Stephanie Meyer

    Far removed from the world of slavery and black female fugitives, is that of vampire romances which forms the essence of the wildly successful Twilight series of novels. Their author is Stephanie Meyer who at just 37 years of age is one of the best-selling women writers of all time. The Twilight novels, four in all, have gained worldwide recognition and sold over 100 million copies globally and have even been translated into 37 different languages. The secret behind the success of Meyer’s novels is that they tap into readers’ romantic dreams and explore themes of immortality and sacrifice. However the novels owe their popularity mainly to young women readers, particularly those in their teens who are excited by the world of dreams, fantasies and chaste love. The main female character, Bella Swan, is likewise a high school student who is swept off by the quiet charm and sensitivity of Edward, a vampire. The attraction between the two is depicted as a love that is thrilling and even dangerous but not overtly sexual.
  5. Isabel Allende

    Chilean author Isabel Allende is widely hailed as the world’s most widely read Spanish author. Her novels have been translated from Spanish into over 30 languages and sold more than 56 million copies. The works mainly focus on the challenges and achievements of women in the Latin world even as they interweave elements of magical and mythical with everyday realism. Allende is best known for novels such as The house of the spirits which was published in 1982 as well as and City of the beasts which released in 2002. Allende's novels are often based upon her personal experience and talk of the lives of women who in the face of trying circumstances continue to move ahead with dignity and love. Allende’s stories thus haunt and touch the heart but they also inspire her readers to dig into the depths of humanity and courage. Among her recent works are Paula (1995), a memoir of her childhood in Santiago, Chile and the following years she spent in exile, The sum of our days (2008) a memoir focusing on her recent life with her immediate family, a novel set in New Orleans titled The island beneath the sea(2010) and the latest novel El cuaderno de maya or “Maya's Notebook" (2011) in which the setting alternates between Berkeley, California, and Chiloé in Chile.