Hey Classics Challengers, time to get your women writers on

It’s a new year (almost) and time to begin the Classics Challenge 2015. I thought it would be a good idea to start out slowly.

The first category for our challenge is a classic by a woman author.

I say we’re starting out slowly because this category should be an easier sell than, say, the Russian category or the Science Fiction/Alternate World category. There are so many great books by women that I’m sure you won’t have any problem choosing one.

I had a friend, a male friend, who said he never read books by women because, as a rule, women simply couldn’t write as well as men. He knew what a bold, blanket statement that was and even said it with some embarrassment. We had several long discussions about this. I offered woman writer after woman writer, novel after novel by authors like Toni Morrison, Daphne DuMaurier, Anne Perry or Anne Tyler. Name a writer; I did, but no soap. (There’s a classic phrase we could try to bring back this year.) He had read many of them and greeted each of my suggestions with an “eh” or a shrug of the shoulders.

He read all the time and from all genres. He loved good writing and could quote extensively from great books. A writer himself, he once said that whenever he started to feel he was a good writer, he’d read Fitzgerald and that would knock him down a peg or two.

brooklynAnyway, I don’t judge my friend, but I’m not like him. I had a hard time choosing from so many great novels by women.

The one I originally chose (“Cold Sassy Tree”) seems like it would fit this category, but is only about 30 years old. Others were selected and, for no real reason, dismissed. Remember, I’m trying to choose from books already in my library. I finally settled on Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” This novel was a huge success when it was published in 1943 and the title is part of the American lexicon. I remember seeing the movie and liking it, but I don’t remember blondesmuch else. I’m looking
forward to it.

My wife has chosen another wholly American title, Anita Loos’ 1925 “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

What are you reading for this category?Add it in the comments below and let the reading begin!

6 thoughts on “Hey Classics Challengers, time to get your women writers on

  1. Pingback: Classics Challenge Clarification | Ron's Bookshelf

  2. OK, here’s my woman author, certainly not chick-litty, a book I have read before, one that can’t be read too many times as long as there are wars and a good factual background for Charles Todd’s Bess Armstrong mysteries—Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain.


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