Memorial Day: Women Writing War

War is not (and has never been) strictly a man’s game. Whether through enlistment or conscription, people of all genders have donned uniforms, lost their friends, their family members, their lives.

For Memorial Day, here is a list of female-authored war stories. Many of these women write from personal experience.

The Healer’s War – Elizabeth Anne Scarborough

Scarborough draws upon her own experience as a nurse in Vietnam, to bring a realistic element to a novel that relies on a magic amulet just as much as the real experience of racism and chaos. The Healer’s War won the 1988 Nebula Award.

The Deeds of Paksenarrion – Elizabeth Moon

A highly realistic military series, due to Moon’s service in the US Marines. Check out LSQ’s own Wendy Van Camp’s review for more information!

Vatta’s War series – Elizabeth Moon

The story of a female interstellar pilot who chooses adventure over the safety of her family’s mercantile business, this series also tackles the topic of colonial wars.

Ash: A Secret History – Mary Gentle

This tale of alternative medieval European history, focuses on mercenary life. Think a medieval mercenary story can’t feature women? Think again. Ash is the protagonist of this novel, a woman who has fought to earn her command of a mercenary unit.

His Majesty’s Dragon – Naomi Novik

Fantasy meets alternate history Napoleonic naval warfare. The real clincher is that the wars are fought from the backs of dragons not on board ships.

Thank you for all the writers who brave the darkness, reality and complexity of war.