"Chick Lit" refers to books featuring hip, stylist female protagonists. We usually follow their struggles with their love life and careers. Some excellent books that come to mind are Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding and Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner (BTW, if you haven’t read either of these books put them on your reading list!) ... But before the invention of “Chick lit” there were still some powerful chicks out there worth reading about! Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables who must overcome the loss of her parents and the start of a new life away from what was once called home. Francie Nolan of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn who blossoms out of the pavement just like the tree that grows in the tenements where she lives, Cassandra Mortmain of I Captured the Castle, who struggles to grow up and learn about life & Love in a decaying English castle. These coming of age books are timeless. And have always been a popular read. I Captured the Castle was recently reissued after being out of print for many years and is enjoying popularity among reading groups too. Relive your youth and read one of these classics. P. S. speaking of strong women-don't forget those March Sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth & Amy) of Little Women.
So, here's the start of a list of some timeless classics that star a girl with guts... what books can you add to the list?
*I Captured the Castle by Dodie Smith published 1948 ( author of The Hundred and One Dalmations)
*Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery published 1908
*A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith published 1943
*Little Women by Louis May Alcott published 1868
*Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene, mystery series published starting 1930
*Trixie Belden by Julie Campbell, mystery series published starting 1948
*Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte published 1847
*The Millenium Series by Stieg Larsson 1st in series published 2008
*Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen published 1813
*Sharon McCone Mysteries by Marcia Muller mysteries published starting 1977
*Thursday Next of the Jasper Fforde Novels starting in 2001
Julie of Reading Without Restraint commented to add Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden to the mix! Both are teenage girls with an amazing ability to solve a good mystery! Independent & fearless, both girls are good examples of strong female characters! Nancy Drew was written by various ghost writers under the name Carolyn Keene and began publishing in 1930, and Trixie Belden was written by Julie Campbell in the beginning, starting in 1948, and then by various ghost writers under the name Kathryn Kenny after Julie Campbell decided to stop writing the books. Thanks Julie for adding these great heroines!
BookishBarney (aka Ellie!) of Musings of a Bookshop Girl adds Jane Eyre to the list! She points out that Jane is calm & proper on the surface, but strong & passionate underneath. What a wonderful example of a woman who knows her own mind! Jane Eyre is one of my favorite classics and thanks Ellie for adding her to the list!
PaulGuy adds a contemporary girl to the list(but she's all class!)... Lisbeth Salander! Talk about strong women protagonists! She's definitely not chick lit, but I'm betting that she'll be a classic someday! Lisbeth stars in Stieg Larsson's (Girl with The Dragon Tattoo) "Millenium Series" and really shows us how to stick up for ourselves. Thanks Paul for adding one of my favorite women to the list!
Fantasylover12001 of A Fangirls View reminds us that Jane Austen really opened the door for chick lit, and strong women protagonists with Pride and Prejudice! How could we not add Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice! She had spunk and a mind of her own! She endures in our hearts because of her fierce independence and is what makes Pride and Prejudice a book club favorite almost 300 years after she lay pen to paper. Thanks Fantasylover12001 for adding Jane Austen and her novel Pride and Prejudice to our list!
Kathy of Bags, Books & Bon Jovi adds Sharon McCone and her mysteries penned by Marcia Muller to the list! Kathy points out that "In mystery circles, she (Sharon McCone) is credited as being the first female protagonist, and not just a secondary character to a male PI." Thanks Kathy for mentioning her! I have never read any of Marcia Muller and now I'm going to grab one of these Sharon McCone mysteries to see where it all started!
Stpand adds another contemporary girl who really has her feet firmly planted in the classics, Thursday Next! Thursday Next lives in a parallel world and is a literary detective. With all these wonderful literary "classic" characters living in her world, Thursday Next is a girl worth remembering! Thanks Stpand for adding her to the list!