11 Novels About Angry Women Who Don't Deserve To Be Called "Unlikeable"

Called shrill, hysterical, alienating, emotional, irrational, crazy, unhinged — angry women are unwelcome in life and in literature. If young women have learned anything in the last two years — from the events leading up to the 2016 election through the explosion of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements — it’s that if angry women want to claim their rightful place in the national conversation, then they're going to have to take it kicking, screaming, and raging. No longer can women be deterred by the narrative that angry women (or angry fictional narrators) are unlikable — rather, women must recognize that narrative as a strategy that has been used to keep angry women silent for generations.

When I first started looking for my own furious feminist icons in literature, what I found were angry women who functioned as cautionary tales: Carrie White, Anna Karenina, Dolores Haze, Hester Prynne. The kinds of stories that say: these are the fates that befall women who let their anger get the best of them. But soon, I found other women: Amy Dunne, Olive Kitteridge, Nora Eldridge, Mireille Duval Jameson, whose anger — complex and raw and terrifying — took on immense power. And these are the women we need to see more of: those unafraid to fan the flames of their anger, in life and in literature.

Here are 11 novels that explore — and totally respect — women’s anger.