JK Rowling makes top 100 books by female writers with Harry Potter novel

JK Rowling has joined esteemed company in a list of 100 essential books by female writers from the past 100 years for one of her Harry Potter novels.

The England-born writer, synonymous with Edinburgh, rubs shoulders with the likes of Harper Lee, Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie and Sylvia Plath.

The annual literary and arts event the Hay Festival revealed the list as they prepare to celebrate literature penned by women since 1918 to mark the centenary of women first gaining the right to vote.

Rowling was chosen for her Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban novel which was published in 1999. It came out ahead of all the other books in the wizarding series.

The list was compiled following three months of voting for the festival's #VOTE100BOOKS campaign, which saw hundreds of readers send in their nominations.

An Edinburgh resident since 1993, Rowling famously wrote the best-selling Harry Potter books at The Elephant House in the city.

One of the most chilling aspects of the Prionser of Azkaban are the the soul-sucking wraiths, known as Dementors, that guarded the prison. They were inspired by the writer's own mental health.

Harry Potter and the Prionser of Azkaban sold an estimated 65 million copies alone, while the whole series was translated successfully onto film.

Hay Festival director Peter Florence said: "There are books here that have changed lives, and changed the world.

"The list is an extraordinary testament to the power of ideas and stories. And a testament to the wisdom of crowds.

"What a fabulous bedside book-pile of empowering and enlightening treasures. Race you to the library!"

This year's Hay Festival runs from Thursday 24 May - June 3, and will feature a programme of 800 events, including appearances from the likes of Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Jilly Cooper, Philip Pullman and Salman Rushdie.