Sunday, January 4, 2009

American Writers: Women

Where do I begin? There are so many fine American women authors...

Working on keeping my New Year's resolution, I spent some time in the New Fiction section at a library today. I checked out a new book by Rita Mae Brown (bestselling author of Rubyfruit Jungle (1973) and also the author of many mystery novels.) The Julie Hecht book is a collection of her short stories.

Kate Chopin's Story of an Hour is a very short (just over 1,000 words) story with four characters. Her novel, The Awakening is her most well-known work. OOps, that link is wrong, here's a link to The Story of an Hour. I lost the original link.

Flannery O'Connor always had a great sense of humor - in high school she said her hobby was collecting publisher's rejection letters.

Willa Cather had a satisfying writing career. She was able to travel (and had a deep attachment to France) as well as tour on the lecture circuit. She enjoyed the friendship and respect of other great writers. One of her novels, Alexander's Bridge, (1912) was crafted to be as close to a Henry James or Edith Wharton novel as possible. Cather's close friend, writer Sarah Orne Jewett, urged her to find her own voice, which she did.

Recently, I tried to read Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona, but lost interest. I used to force myself to finish every book, but I've relaxed that rule.

I always wanted to keep track of what I read - the main reason I started this blog. I can't recall everything I've read, but can keep track from now on, anyway, and it's good to get reading suggestions from others.


R.L. Bourges said...

I love that Kate Chopin story ... but you may want to check the link. Ms Chopin is looking a bit ... odd. Interesting, but odd.


Avid Reader said...

Haa! I messed up! thanks for letting me know I lost that link.

Kurt said...

For when you are at a literary cocktail party:

I heard someone who would know pronounce Willa Cather's name, and he said "why-lah cay-ther."

Avid Reader said...

Makes sense Kurt, now that I think about it, I was always pronouncing both names wrong. I can always hope to go to a literary cocktail party someday. I thought Willa was short for Wilhelmina, but I like the Why-Lah pronunciation much better,

Mickey,Georgia , Tillie said...

I have reached that age where there are too many things to remember and I must write things down :/
Good way to keep track of what you have read :)
I have read Rita Mae Brown's mystery stories. I like mysteries ;)
Thanks for the birthday wishes.

tony said...

Talking of which............ Sylvia Plaths is buried about a mile from where i live. here are some photos i took of the Grave.

JGH said...

Oooo, is the new Rita Mae Brown one of her Sneaky Pie mysteries??!

I loved The Awakening - never thought to look at other things she wrote. I think I will have to read something else by Willa Cather soon. I loved My Antonia so much.

Avid Reader said...

JGH--the Rita Mae is a foxhunt mystery, so far some cruel guy that everyone hates (they say they'd like to kill him out loud) has stolen a dog.

jenn's mama said...

Love your blog! I teach Story of An Hour semester in and semester out and my students always leave with a new perspective gained and a spark of desire for literature, even the ones studying nursing and such. Thanks for sharing!

jenn's mama said...

oh yeah. if you haven't checked out Desiree's Baby by Chopin--you must must must! to die for story.

Anonymous said...

Willa Cather is pronounced WiLL ah Cather (she herself said Cather rhymes with gather or rather. ) and she bristled when people mispronounced it as Kay-thur.

My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)