Posts Tagged Mary Gaitskill

BOOKS: 25 Suggestions for #ReadWomen2014

As an English major at a women’s college (Simmons College in Boston), I didn’t read as many women authors as you’d think. I remember a Victorian Experience class with George Eliot as one of the authors along with Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens, naturally. I took a wonderful summer course at Emerson College that included Edith Wharton on the syllabus and I immediately fell for her. Upon graduating I’ve made up for not reading that many female authors and likely read more female than male authors. As with any business, I know that the literary world’s filled with many more big-name male authors and lesser-known female authors. More literary prizes go to men than to women. Female authors usually get pushed into the “women’s fiction” a.k.a. “chick lit” genre whereas men nearly always write literary fiction, mystery/thriller and nonfiction. There’s little parity. So I’m all for this #ReadWomen2014 movement.

Here are 25 of my favorite books by women, a mix of classic and modern, if you need some reading suggestions:

Glimpses vintage

1. Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton

song of lark

2. The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

moore

3. A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

journal of a solitude

4. Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton

mccullers

5. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

walker

6. Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker

emperorschildren.messud

7. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

intuition

8. Intuition by Allegra Goldman

ghana must go

9. Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

lowland

10. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

portrait in sepia

11. Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende

good earth

12. The Good Earth by Pearl Buck

revolution-of-every-day

13. The Revolution of Every Day by Cari Luna

mccarthy1

14. The Group by Mary McCarthy

bell jar

15. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

driver'sseat.spark

16. Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark

vagabond.collette

17. The Vagabond by Collette

education of harriet hatfield

18. The Education of Harriet Hatfield by May Sarton

agnes grey

19. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

kingsolver

20. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

byatt

21. Possession by A.S. Byatt

gaitskill

22. Don’t Cry by Mary Gaitskill

oranges

23. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

broken heart.singer

24. The Wholeness of a Broken Heart by Katie Singer

on beauty

25. On Beauty by Zadie Smith

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Book Readings: Do I get my book signed?

My friend Adam is a huge fan of Jonathan Safran Foer who is reading from Eating Animals tonight for Brookline Booksmith. He told me he wouldn’t wait to get the book signed and that he usually doesn’t. I’m giving him my review copy. He’s helped me a lot with my web site and it’s the least I can do! He’s read Everything is Illuminated four or five times! So I got to thinking about going to reading and getting books signed by authors. Sometimes, what’s the point?

When an author just writes, “Amy, Enjoy the read, xx” I’m not that thrilled. And then years later particularly if it’s a book I will not read again, I feel I should keep it because it’s signed but it is just clutter. I am getting rid of signed copies of Betrayal (about Boston Catholic Church), The Passion of Artemesia, something by Linda Fairstein and I See You Everywhere. I just have so many books to read and new books coming out all the time and there’s the library, I’m not opening these books up again and they don’t “add” to my bookshelf.

But these do– because they have PERSONAL messages:

Don’t Cry by Mary Gaitskill– “To Amy, to whom I want to say I actually AM a feminist.”

Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem– “For Amy. Looking forward to talking.”

Election by Tom Perrotta– “It was great meeting you. Good luck with your writing.”

Of Cats and Men by Nina de Gramont– “To Amy, Great to meet you. With All Best Wishes,”

The Fence by Dick Lehr– “To Amy, Thanks for the interview and Best Regards”

The Ladies Man by Elinor Lipman– “For amy, with thanks for your kind words. Enjoy!”

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