Ten Novels with Strong Female Protagonists

By New Door Books

By New Door Books

Selected by Louis Greenstein

Purity

Jonathan Franzen

$17.00 $15.64

An epic about morality, gender, journalism, and murder. Purity "Pip" Tyler doesn't know who her father is or why her mother is an eccentric recluse. All she knows is that she is saddled with $130,000 in student debt and that a peculiar group of Germans who have taken up residence in her anarchist squat house seem to have an interest in her. With fierce, muscular prose and a deep knowledge of American and Western culture, Jonathan Franzen takes us on a wild ride from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the age of social networking.

Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn

$17.00 $15.64

A fast-paced thriller teeming with plot twists and surprises. When Amy Dunne disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary, her husband Nick comes under a cloud of suspicion. Dark, clever, and witty, GONE GIRL is one part crime novel, one part character study, and one part meditation on gender roles in modern society.

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

$16.95 $15.59

An astounding story about the oppressiveness and sadism of slavery, the hope for freedom, and the profound strength of an escaped slave. In this brilliant novel, Colson Whitehead reimagines the Underground Railroad as an actual railroad that literally runs underground from the slave states to freedom.

Jane Eyre (Collins Classics)

Charlotte Brontë

$3.99 $3.67

Child orphan Jane Eyre endures abuse, rejection, and exile to a charity school where—despite continued humiliations—she gets an education. Later she is hired as governess at the estate of Edward Rochester, who holds a dark secret—and with whom she falls in love. Further plot twists ensue!

Harriet the Spy

Louise Fitzhugh

$6.99 $6.43

Harriet the spy keeps careful notes about her family, neighbors, friends, and even strangers. But when her notebook is hijacked by classmates, they erupt in anger at the comments Harriet made about them. This YA classic is a bold study in personal integrity, humor, and psychology. Harriet will go down as one of the great child detectives of all time.

Little Women (150th Anniversary Edition): With Foreword and 200 Original Illustrations

Louisa M. Alcott and Frank Merrill

$15.95

An American classic. Aspiring writer Jo, tragically vulnerable Beth, beautiful Meg, and spoiled Amy struggle to survive and to look out for one another in New England during the Civil War. A timeless tale of devotion, ambition, responsibility, and culture.

Pride and Prejudice (Collins Classics)

Jane Austen

$7.99 $7.35

A delightful and important comedy of manners, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE introduces us to the brilliant Elizabeth Bennet and her love interest, the aloof and romantic Mr. Darcy. As the two clash in a classic battle of wits, Jane Austen gives us not just a great story teeming with sharp dialogue, but also a keen look at early-19th-century social norms.

The Little Friend

Donna Tartt

$17.00 $15.64

A deeply moral epic about childhood, truth, and the nature of evil. Simultaneously funny, chilling, and provocative, THE LITTLE FRIEND opens with the murder of a young boy. Twelve years later, the boy's sister, 12-year-old Harriet Cleve Dufresnes, decides to dedicate her summer vacation to catching the killer. Harriet's search reveals scary secrets, mysteries of the adult world, and clues to solving the murder.

The Color Purple

Alice Walker

$17.00 $15.64

Set in the deep American South, THE COLOR PURPLE is the saga of Celie, an African American girls born into poverty and segregation. Abused, neglected, and trapped in a dangerous marriage, Celie learns how to take charge of her own life. A classic novel of loss, redemption, and joy.

The Awakening

Kate Chopin

$4.00 $3.68

When it first appeared in 1899, THE AWAKENING's story of a woman's marital infidelity shocked and disturbed many readers. Today, the novel remains a powerful testament to individualism, personal strength, self-discovery, passion, and love.

Louis Greenstein is himself the author of a novel with a strong female protagonist: The Song of Life, forthcoming from Sunbury Press.