Readers’ Choice: 10 More Women Who Should Be Writing for ‘Harper’s’


Earlier this week, we bemoaned the lack of women writing for Harper’s, and suggested a few great ones who we think could lend an interesting perspective to the magazine. We also asked you to nominate your own favorite lady writers who you think should be published in the oldest general-interest monthly in America. After the jump, we’ve culled a few of them from your comments on the post and on Twitter. Happy reading!

Michelle Orange

We’ve been fans of Michelle Orange’s incisive, smart writing — essays, fiction, criticism, and those nebulous in-betweeners — for a while now, watching it pop up in places like McSweeney’s, Vir­ginia Quar­terly Review, The New York Times, The Vil­lage Voice, and The Rumpus. Her first collection, This is Running For Your Life, appeared in February to much acclaim. We talk to her about it here. Suggested by Elissa Bassist.

Emily Witt

Onetime staff writer at The New York Observer and the Miami New Times, and with bylines everywhere from n+1 to The New York Times to Foreign Policy to Marie Claire, Witt is a force — and also the person who pointed out the connection between Joan Didion and Katniss Everdeen. We agree: Harper’s needs her. Suggested by Kassi Underwood.

Kerry Howley

Howley writes with incredible verve about everything from politics to literature to boxing. She is also apparently finishing up a book about “consensual violence, ecstatic experience, and the body,” which we can’t wait to read. Suggested by Rachel Yoder.

Fanny Howe

Howe is one of America’s finest experimental poets, who was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2009, and has also published many novels, young adult fiction, and two collections of essays. But we agree — the world could always do with more of her fierce voice. Suggested (thrice) by VicenteLozano.

Claire Dederer

Our commenter recommended Dederer on the strength of her bestselling memoir Poser, which came out in January 2011, which might just be enough for us — we could all use a little more yoga in their lives, even if it’s only literary. But Dederer is also a strong critical and journalistic voice, and a longtime contributor to The New York Times — we think her, um, flexible viewpoint would be a great addition to Harper’s. Suggested by AntoniaM.

Jennifer Miller

Miller is a double-whammy — not only is she a widely published journalist with an award-winning book under her belt, but she wrote one of our favorite novels of last year, The Year of the Gadfly. She also knows a thing or two about scandal. Suggested by Kassi Underwood.

Sheila Heti

But of course — Heti has one of the most distinctive voices (or maybe just one of the bravest ones) going today, dissecting what it means to be a woman and what it means to be, ahem, a person, in the modern world. Love her work or hate it, we definitely think she should be heard by the so-called serious people who read Harper’s. Suggested by Elissa Bassist.

Natasha Vargas-Cooper

It seems like Natasha Vargas-Cooper has been published everywhere — The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Spin, GQ, Bookforum, The Atlantic. She’s the LA correspondent for The Awl, and has a book, Mad Men Unbuttoned: A Romp Through 1960s America, under her belt. Also, she’s tough and smart and a smart aleck, not to mention a great cultural commentator and journalist.

Beth Lisick

As far as we’re concerned, anyone who was in Sister Spit deserves to be more widely read. Especially when said person is a bestselling comic memoirist and top-notch essayist. Suggested by Elissa Bassist.

Maya Dusenbery

Given their abysmal VIDA numbers, what Harper’s really needs is more writers like Maya Dusenbery, an editor at Feministing. She might be able to teach them (and us, probably) a thing or two. Suggested by Elissa Bassist.