Some idle ruminations on feminist fiction

So I have been reading a lot more over the last few weeks which is excellent, given my February slump. Sometimes you just got to do things that aren’t that fun, like work. I guess sometimes I just don’t feel like reading, especially when I have got a lot on my mind.

I am going to see Margaret Atwood in Bristol this summer! This is very exciting. I am a relatively new Atwood reader, having only read Oryx and Crake & Year of the Flood last autumn. I received The Handmaid’s Tale for Christmas and I recently just finished The Blind Assassin, which was fantastic. I also started The Edible Woman but I haven’t really enjoyed what I’ve read so far. It’ll be worth a second glance sometime soon, I am sure. 

I am surprisingly not that well-read in terms of what could be considered (modern) classic feminist fiction.

I read The Color Purple at school (the sense of despair at the injustices of life in particular is something that has stuck with me as I’ve gotten older; but also the sense of unparalleled optimism and the love of friends that shines through the brutality that Celie experiences).

I think one of my favourite books of all time is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. You just have to read it, trust me.

Written in 1937, it tells the tale of Janie Crawford, an African-American woman in Florida who throws off the shackles of society to become the mistress of her own destiny; taking lovers, leaving lovers, becoming financially independent.

I am definitely going to have to take a look at it again as I read it so fast the first time; I literally couldn’t stop reading it from the moment I bought it.

I have yet to start Beloved by Toni Morrison, which I acquired nearly a year ago.

I am mid-way through The Bloody Chamber by feminist favourite Angela Carter. I’ve never read anything by her before. I have to say that I am finding it akin to a sumptuous banquet of words that you just want to rub your face in. If you read some of the stories out loud, the prose would drip off your tongue like honey. Flesh, fur, hair, jewels, roses, snow, blood, ocean…and tigers! Dogs! Horses! Monkey butlers! Strange mechanised doppelgängers!

It’s almost arousing.

I took a little break from my crime fiction extravaganza recently as it was getting a little bit intense but I feel ready to start again soon! Once my eBay purchases arrive…

If anyone has any feminist fiction recommendations then please comment and let me know!

 

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