Dive into our list of award-winning books created by women authors. From classics to up-and-coming contemporary fiction, these women are using their voices to share these amazing stories and create novels that are hits with both fans and critics alike. From international booker prize winners, to women’s prize in fiction awards, these best novels by women have some of the highest accolades and have won some of the most prestigious book awards. We’ve collected this book list of all the bestsellers and award-winning female authors, in a variety of genres and topics, for the ultimate list of strong female storytellers.

We Are Not Like Them

The first book on our list is a dynamic and engaging look at issues of race, and how they challenge and pressure relationships - for better or worse. Christine Pride and Jo Piazza dive into the inner workings of marriages, friendships, and ambitions amid dealing with poignant issues such as police brutality and racial biases.

Strong, informative, and moving, We are Not Like Them takes on challenging topics - which are especially relevant of late - and delivers a touching, moving, and powerful story that will both challenge your thinking and open your eyes to a whole new perspective. This is a must-listen award winner.

Firefly Lane

Author Kristin Hannah is a New York Times best seller, and Firefly Lane is no exception. This book is rooted in a deep friendship between the two female lead characters. Both strong and determined, though in outwardly very different ways, they support each other through thick and thin, but also clash heads and call each other out like only lifelong friends can.

Firefly Lane is emotional, humourous, heartbreaking, and exciting all at once. The range of emotions follows the ups and downs of the two women’s lives - and the way they navigate them together - for a full, all-encompassing story. Susan Ericksen brings the characters to life in a wonderful reading that will pull the listener in, and tug at all their heartstrings.

Half of a Yellow Sun

Half of a Yellow Sun is a phenomenal piece of literature that has gained major accolades and awards. Not only did author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie win the Women’s Prize for Fiction for this title, but it was named the best book to have won that award in the last 25 years. It is also listed on the New York Times' "100 Most Notable Books of the Year” and these awards are well earned.

A moving, powerful story, Half of a Yellow Sun is the perfect combination of a story that grips your heart and an author that knows just the right way to tell it. Beautifully delivered, despite the often difficult circumstances the characters go through, this novel is moving, emotional, and full of flashes of hope. It tackles the difficult subject of the promise of hope, and what happens when promises and futures are broken.


Piranesi is another novel that has won various high-profile awards. In 2021 it was awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction, was on the Shortlist for The Costa Novel of The Year Award, and became Sunday Times and New York Times best seller. Author Susanna Clarke creates a deep and complex mysterious world in this fantastical tale of twists, turns, secrets, and clues.

Chiwetel Ejiofor brings these immersive worlds to life with a powerful narrative performance that won an Audio Award in 2021 for the Audiobook of the Year. Get lost in this tale of mysteries and wonder, and learn why it has been awarded so highly - you won’t be disappointed.

The Handmaid's Tale

Another award-winning title is The Handmaid’s Tale by iconic Canadian author Margaret Atwood. Atwood is one of the most decorated authors and this novel - originally released in the 80s - continues to gain fans, credit, and awards. From the Governor General's Award for English-language fiction to a Booker Prize for fiction and Nebula nomination in 1986, it also won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the 1987 Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best Book in Canada and the Caribbean region. The Handmaid's Tale came out swinging and took many awards upon its initial release.

Now, some 30 years later, it continues to grab new fans and listeners with this phenomenal audiobook adaptation. It is narrated by a full cast of impressive actors and voice actors including Claire Danes, Ray Porter, Margaret Atwood herself, and Tim Gerard Reynolds who together build an immersive world for the listeners to fall into. The dystopian classic continues to be just as relevant today as it was the day it was penned. You can also continue the story with the follow-up title: The Testaments.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing: International Edition

Do Not Say We Have Nothing looks at generations in China and how the influence of Mao’s Cultural revolution in one, and their children that came after, for an insightful, engaging story of influence, societal control, and breaking chains. Author Madeleine Thien exerts her strong female voice in a culture that often shies away from pointing the finger, resulting in a revealing and moving story of loss and resilience.

This title won both the Giller Prize and was Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2016, a clear indicator of the power and skill of this strong female storyteller.

Water for Elephants

Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants is another example of a wonderful award-winning tale penned by a female author. Also Canadian, she brings to life this depression-era story of love and pain amid the wondrous and weird world of the circus. The novel is both a look at the difficulties of living through a depression and the difficulties of finding love - and forbidden love - when you do not have the luxury for it.

All My Puny Sorrows

There are few audiobooks that balance sorrow, hope, and despair so beautifully as All My Puny Sorrows. This story is painful, harsh, and does not shy away from the dark hard truths of depression, and yet manages to be a wonderful story of love, family, and connection. Miriam Toews describes pain and numbing depression with a deep sense of understanding, which will pull hard on any listener's heartstrings.

Moving, powerful and painful, this story is not for the lighthearted, but it is one that will stay with you for years, and change you for the better. Erin Moon narrates and brings this powerful story to life, diving deep into the inheritance of loss, and what it means to live with constant sorrow. An absolute must-listen.


Kathleen Winter’s Annabel is a powerful and challenging look at gender identity, and the societal norms or constraints we place on children from such a young age. Written from the perspective of a child born with both female and male sex organs, this powerful story challenges long-held beliefs and social constructs in favour of being true to yourself.

For anyone who has ever struggled with their identity, this is a powerful voice, but even for those who may not understand personally what it is like to feel foreign in your own skin, this novel offers a glimpse into that world, which will hopefully open listeners minds and hearts to a more compassionate and true way of viewing others - not as boys or girls, but just as the wonderful souls they are.

The Hero's Walk

The Hero’s Walk is written by Toronto-based writer Anita Rau Bandami, and has a long list of awards. It won the Regional Commonwealth Writers Prize, was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction and was also a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize.

The story is set in India, and Bandami brings that world to life- with all the complexities of reality and emotions that face the Rao family. She expertly jumps from feelings of loss and disappointment to glimmers of hope and happiness, all the while allowing the characters to slowly realize that they must learn to accept who they are, and what circumstances they live in without succumbing to the pressures and sorrows of a difficult life. It is a moving story of resilience and pride, despite pain and suffering.


Room is another listen that takes on a challenging topic. It is told from the perspective of a young child, and as such details and realities of his life with his mother are unclear, and at times confusing - but Emma Donoghue writes from this point of view in an impressively real way. It is both believable as a child’s perspective but gives listeners enough to go on to become engaged in the story. As it progresses, the reality of their lives becomes more clear, taking on a dark tone that is as powerful as it is moving.

A Tale for the Time Being

Canadian author Ruth Ozeki writes an intriguing tale of past and present, as we follow the life of a female author - potentially very similar to Ozeki herself - living in Vancouver - and the life of young Nao who is struggling to find purpose in her life in Tokyo. Ozeki switches between both with ease, weaving the two together in a tale that emphasizes the struggles and pain of a young girl, and the introspective nature of a grown woman. Together, they paint a wonderful picture of womanhood and female resilience, while highlighting the unknown bonds that tie us to one another even across oceans.

Lands of Lost Borders

Lands of Lost Borders has been highlighted by a number of literary award accolades including being the Winner of the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize, Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction, 2019 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in Nonfiction, Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature, 2018 winner of the Banff Mountain Book Competition's Adventure Travel Award and a Finalist for the 2019 Hubert Evans Non Fiction Prize. It’s safe to say this novel was well-received by critics.

Listeners and fans, too, are loving this tale of reflection and adventure, as Kate explores the Silk Road, and herself, on an epic journey. Introspective and thought-provoking, this novel will make you look inward at your own life and desires, to see if you too are really fulfilling your innermost dreams.

The Girls

The Girls has won a wide range of literary awards and has been well received by critics. Following a group of girls in the late 1960s, it is at once a coming of age story and a take on historical events that rocked the United States. Danger and mystery pull you in, just as they pull Evie closer and closer to a world of violence and chaos.

An impressive and gripping first novel, this is the perfect listen for fans of true crime, mystery, and stories steeped in political upheaval.

Son of a Trickster

Eden Robinson is a much-loved and award-winning Canadian Female author. She is a winner of the Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Son of a Trickster is the first in a trilogy that explores first nation folklore and the magic and spirituality connected to Haisla culture, while at the same time being a tale of a teenage boy who is lost, and trying to find his way in the world.

Funny, dark, twisting and an honest take on reservation life, Son of a Trickster is a non-stop adventure that is almost impossible to pause. Jason Ryll narrates this audiobook adaptation with all the dry humor and poignant honesty needed to carry the unique tone of Robinson’s storytelling.

Girl Who Fell from the Sky

This coming-of-age story straddles two cultures and is a perfect tale for anyone who identifies as bi-racial or grew up torn between two spheres. A story that challenges society’s need to define and categorize, The Girl Who Fell From The Sky takes a deep, hard look at what being biracial is really like, and why we force someone to be either black or white.

Heidi Durrow tackles these challenging topics with care but does not soften the hard truths, resulting in a powerful story that strikes right through to listeners and forces them to take a deeper look at society, themselves, and how we define everything.

Heat and Dust

In the difficult world of the 1930s, a woman lives with her husband, stationed in the Indian Civil Service. As she quickly becomes bored with this life, she ends up running away with an Indian Prince, forsaking her husband and her former life. Years later, her husband’s granddaughter finds original letters that draw her to India, in an unexplained need to find out what made her leave everything she once knew and take off on a new adventure. Strong female author Ruth Prawer Jhabvala writes both women with ease, weaving their stories together despite their separation in time, while Julie Christie narrates with similar smooth ease.

The Age of Innocence

Another on our list of Award Winning female authors is Edith Wharton with The Age of Innocence. This classic love triangle features all the twists and turns of forbidden love, and a heightened sense of obligation, societal pressures, and taboos. Wharton describes upper-class New York life expertly, creating the aloof and often out-of-touch air while still keeping the listeners engaged, and caring about these -sometimes insufferable characters. A classic juicy romance, it is perfect for anyone looking for their next epic love story.