Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Sunday Salon... National Women's History Month & which Women writer's made history with you!

Spring has finally poked its head up from one of the piles of snow you can still find in Connecticut. The temperatures are starting to rise a little and the sun actually came for a visit! The one year Blogoversary celebration wrapped up this week with Cheryl winning Pillars of the Earth, Elaine winning The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns, Helen winning Last Night in Montreal, throuthehaze winning the Romance Bundle, rubynreba winning The Power of Half, Nunah winning The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, and Alyce winning the Kindle Gift Certificate. I'm still waiting to hear from the lucky winners for Alice I Have Been and the Historical Fiction Bundle, so check your emails! And Congrats to all the winners! Even though my celebration is over, there is still some celebrating going on...

March is National Women's History Month! National Women’s History Month provides an excellent venue to recognize and celebrate women’s historic achievements as well as an opportunity to honor women within our families and communities. In 1980, President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation recognizing Women’s History Week. In 1987, the week was expanded to the entire month of March, and 2010 will mark the 30th anniversary of this celebration! March is the month to celebrate women! From Rosie the Riveter, the fictional character who eventually would come to represent strong independent women, to Sally Ride, the first american woman in space, women (and even fictional women) have made their mark in history. Which women writers do you feel have made their mark in history? Which women writers have made their mark on you? In honor of National Women's History Month, I thought I would mention some great classic women writers...

Sylvia Plath suffered from extreme bipolar depression that ultimately led to her suicide at the age of 30. Her largely autobiography novel, The Bell Jar, "draws the reader into her breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies." And it is this intense honesty showing the origins of Sylvia's own tragedy that made this a landmark in literature. Originally published in England in 1964, there was so much demand for a copy to be printed in the US, that in 1971 through much
controversy, Harper & Row published a copy. Frequently referred to as the female Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar is also a coming of age story.

Harper Lee wrote her greatest and only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, which painted a picture of racial inequality and dealt with the serious issue of rape. Controversial in its subject matter, it has repeatedly been challenged and attempted to be removed from more than one library. At the same time it is one of the most widely read books dealing with lessons in tolerance and decrying prejudice.

Harriet Beecher Stowe best known for writing "Uncle Tom's Cabin," which portrays the "moral outrage of slavery and its destructive effects on both whites and blacks". Ms. Stowe lived in Cincinnati across the river from the slave trade and witnesses first hand some of the atrocities of slavery, such as a husband and wife being sold apart. Her observances prompted her to write Uncle Tom's Cabin, which sold half-a-million copies by 1857!

There are some writers that are important to me because they held a hand out to me as I was growing up and invited me in... these are some of the writers that helped along my reading obsession...

Louisa May Alcott who invited me into a family of sisters, when I was an only child; Emily Bronte who gave me Heathcliff; Carolyn Keene, who really is just as fictional as her character Nancy Drew, but let me tag along to investigate with Nancy and learn all about how to solve a mystery & who eventually introduced me to Agatha Christie, who taught me about how to use a flashlight under the covers, and why nightlights are necessary...

Of course there are many more contemporary women writers I love & admire too... but we'd be here all day as I list them! OK, here are just a few... Lisa See, Diana Gabaldon, Bernice L. McFadden, and Margaret Atwood... Emily Carmichael, Sarah Strohmeyer, and Janet Evanovich... Audrey Niffenegger, Maya Angelou, & Judy Blume...Which are your favorite women writers? And who would you like to celebrate this month?!

Happy reading... Suzanne


Harvee said...

I've always loved reading women mystery writers: Susan Conant, Ann Ripley, M.C. Beaton, Tamar Myers, Diane Mott Davidson, just to name a few... Great post today!

DanaB said...

Such an enjoyable post today, thanks!

Some, but far from all, of my favorite women writers are Maeve Binchy, Diana Gabaldon, Iris Johansen, Nicole Krauss...and the list goes on...


Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I love reading women writers...not only do their voices connect with us in a unique way, but they often have so many experiences to share that only women can relate to.

As a young person, Louisa May Alcott's books were stories I read over and over; then, Carolyn Keene was a favorite, with Nancy Drew. Later I would also enjoy Sylvia Plath, although "enjoy" is probably the wrong word.

Nowadays, I love Sue Miller, Jodi Picoult, Margaret Atwood, Anne Tyler, Margaret Drabble...and so many more!

Yay to the women writers everywhere! And to women the world over, for the trials we have come through and the victories we have won. Thanks for rousing us today with this beautiful tribute.

My Salon:

Trisha said...

To start off Women's History Month, I read Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, a great read, very informative and insightful.

fredamans said...

Congrats to the winners!!

My women author faves are Maya Angelou and Margaret Atwood.

Esme said...

I think Harper Lee has written one of the best books ever. I cannot believe anyone tries to ban books. Some are garbage-but there is probably something to be learnt from all.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Oh, geez. I haven't read most of those classic women writers -- me, with not one but TWO degrees in English!

When we get into the more contemporary writers, I'm better. Good thing or you'd have to take my title of Book Lover away from me, I suspect.

Anonymous said...

Some of our finest contemporary and recent writers in English are women. Some of my favorites: Jane Gardam, who wrote OLD FILTH,for instance; Dara Horn, still very young and winner of two Jewish American Novel awards; two great mystery writers, Ruth Rendell and Elizabeth George; the just-deceased splendid award-winning Penelope Fitzgerald; Pat Barker.

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