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Cool Character Names: 44 Great Girl Names from Novels

Alba to Xandra

By Linda Rosenkrantz

If you like the idea of using a literary namesake inspiration for your little girl, there’s no reason that you have to go all the way back to Shakespeare or Dickens, or even Atticus and Scout.  There are some really cool character names to be found in the pages of 21st century novels. They range from vintage treasures like Clementine and Winifred to boyish Cayce and Merrick.

I haven’t included names from the blockbuster sagas we’ve covered before.  But you can see some of the best names from Twilight and The Hunger Games and Harry Potter if you follow those links.

Here are 44 cool character names for girls, all from 21st century novels.

Alba, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Amaka, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Amma, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Annick, State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Antonina, The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman (shown)

Anys, Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Aria, Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Artis, ZeroK by Don DeLillo

Athena, The Witch of Portobello by Paolo Coelho

Bibi, Saving Fish from Dying by Amy Tan

Berner, Canada by Richard Ford

Briony,  Atonement by Ian McEwan

Calliope, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Catalina, The Revelers by Doug Wilhelm

Cayce, Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

Clementine, Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Dellarobia, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Effie, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Elspeth, Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Faunia, The Human Stain by Philip Roth

Georgie, Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Glory, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Irie Ambrosia, White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Isola, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Jocasta, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Lisbeth, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Luna Moth, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Marete, Everyman by Philip Roth

Maribel, The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

Merrick, A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Nazeen, Brick Lane by Monica Ali

Olanna, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

Olive, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Oona, Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem

Pari, And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Mosseini

Peony, Peony in Love by Lisa See

Purity (Pip), Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Sage, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Sai, The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

Sheba, Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller

Thursday, Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

Trixie, The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

Winifred, The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Xandra, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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3 Responses to “Cool Character Names: 44 Great Girl Names from Novels”

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sulpice Says:

March 29th, 2019 at 8:58 pm

Love Amaka, Antonina, and Pari from this list!

ceryle Says:

March 29th, 2019 at 9:27 pm

I like Olanna (I have Olana on my list), and Xandra is the obvious counterpart to Xander yet I’ve never seen it—really cool!

RachelAbigail Says:

April 1st, 2019 at 10:54 pm

I absolutely love this list of names! An honorable mention would be Yvaine, from Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

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