Ten Current Women Writers You Should Read
Yes, it is another list. To celebrate "women’s history month", About Literature lists 10 women authors whose work we should read, apparently.
Who are they? Isabelle Allende, Margaret Atwood, Sarah Dunant, Cornelia Funke, Ursula K LeGuin, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith.
I’ve read at least one book by most of these authors, sometimes more than one. Some of these women are, in my opinion, pretty much "one book" authors — I loved "House of the Spirits" by Allende, and her second novel (forget the title), even though it was not a patch on the first. I read a couple more but found them increasingly disappointing. Atwood I’ve never liked (too determinedly making feminist points and "being clever"), Dunant was good when she wrote detective stories but I’m not tempted by her reinvented historian persona. Both my daughters quite like Funke but in their estimation absolutely not a patch on the wonderful J K Rowling (why on Earth is she not on the list? What a crazy omission.)
I think on balance I would prefer to read a few dead women authors than many of the above, eg Jane Austen, George Eliot, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte. Or, more recently, Carol Shields. Of living authors not included, I like Marge Piercy (mostly — have not read her historical books but like her "modern" fiction), Nikki Gerard (who writes "straight" fiction as sole author and, collaboratively, "crime" fiction with her husband Sean French under the name of Nikki French), Anita Shreve, Joanna Trollope, Sue Miller, Maggie O’Farrell (have read only one of hers, but have more on my pile). Possibly Anita Brookner, I used to read each one of hers as they came out, but it is a while since I’ve wanted to do that.
There are probably other women authors I like reading outside the sphere of "genre" fiction. I’ll probably remember their names as soon as I finish writing this post. C’est la vie with lists.
Giles G-B said…
I’m really glad you mentioned Carol Shields.
Yes, I like Carol Shields – I haven’t read all her books but so far, "Unless" is my favourite.
One I forgot: Alice Walker.