Hedvig Nordenflycht (1718-1763)
was an early Swedish feminist. She was the host of a literary salon in
Stockholm and supported women’s writing in her country.
Her literary debut took place in 1742 with the
poem The Lament of the Swedish Woman.
In 1753 she became the only female member of the literary academy Tankebyggarorden, created with the
purpose of reforming Swedish literature.
Lois McMaster Bujold (b. 1949) is a sci-fi writer known for works such as the Vorkosigan
Saga or the Sharing Knife series. She has won the Hugo Award for best novel
four times, a record shared only with one other author.
Her books have sold millions of copies worldwide
and have won several Hugo and Nebula awards. She is also the co-publisher of StarDate, a science fiction fanzine.
Natalie Clifford Barney (1876-1972) was an American author and
a notable figure among the group of expats living in Paris at the turn of the
century. She is remembered not only for her literature, but for her
unconventional life and lesbian relationships.
Born in Ohio,
she moved to Paris and published several books of poetry and short plays. She
held a literary salon for almost 60 years and promoted women’s writing. She
resolved to live freely and openly despite societal taboos, and said about her
homosexuality that “it is not a vice, is not deliberate, and harms no
bell hooks (b. 1952) is an
author and social activist, focusing on issues of feminism, race and sexuality.
She writes fiction and non-fiction, having published her first book of poems in
Among her many works are the 1981 book Ain’t I A Woman?: Black women and feminism, and Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center,
published in 1984. She taught at several prestigious institutions, for example
Yale University as Professor of African-American Studies and English.
Carmen Balcells (1930-2015) was a
Spanish literary agent, seen as a main driving force behind the Latin American
literary boom during the 1960s. She discovered and represented six winners of
the Nobel Prize.
She founded her own literary agency
in 1956, and led it for almost 50 years. Having represented authors such as
Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez or Isabel Allende, she is considered
one of the most influential people in the world of Spanish-language literature.
Sapphire (b. 1950) is the pen name of Ramona Lofton, a performance poet and author. She began as part of the Slam Poetry scene of New York.
In 1996 she released her first novel, Push, which sold hundreds of thousands of copies. This was the basis of the 2009 Academy Award-winning film Precious.