The very first author known by name was an Akkadian woman named Enheduanna, who signed a composition on a stone tablet more than 4,000 years ago. In more modern times, authors such as Jane Austen and Edith Wharton published iconic works of literature despite the hurdles they faced in a patriarchal society and an industry dominated by men.
As women authors became more prominent in the publishing world, they pushed boundaries and explored themes that were previously considered taboo or off limits. In doing so, they have helped shape our understanding of the world around us. Their stories provide a window into different cultures, times, and perspectives, as well as the complexity of human relationships.
In celebration of their contributions, we have collected 11 of our favorite quotes from books by women authors. Some speak of seeking a place in the world; others turn inward to address our hearts and minds. The thing they all have in common is a sense of optimism, a nod toward the tenacity of women in all their many vocations. May they inspire you to embrace your true self, wherever it may lead.
When you can’t find someone to follow, you have to find a way to lead by example.Roxane Gay, “Bad Feminist”
I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.Louisa May Alcott, “Little Women”
Never be afraid to sit a while and think.Lorraine Hansberry, “A Raisin in the Sun”
The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.Harper Lee, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Half the trouble in life is caused by pretending there isn't any.Edith Wharton, “The House of Mirth”
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.Maya Angelou, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”
Don't try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition.Madeleine L'Engle, “A Wrinkle in Time”
Live in the present, make the most of it, it's all you've got.Margaret Atwood, “The Handmaid's Tale”
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.Charlotte Brontë, “Jane Eyre”
You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate.Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat, Pray, Love”
Great people do things before they are ready. They do things before they know they can do it. And by doing it, they're proven right.Amy Poehler, “Yes Please”
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