Hi Guys! We made it! Today is Friday! I know how much this means to all of you guys who work in an actual office. All jokes aside, while Monday is about all the potential for the week, Fridays are about the completion of goals set for the week; so cross-off all those items from your to-do list at work and come home this evening with nothing to do, but, RELAX.
As you know March is Women History Month so I plan on focusing many posts (not all) on highlighting women issues and celebrating women achievements. So while yesterday, I focused on a heavy topic–gun control, today, as planned, I will be recommending some favorite females authors of mine. So here goes…
Many readers of mine know how much I adore Virginia Woolf. I go into how and when I fell in love with her work in a previous post HERE. Virginia Woolf’s writing resonates with me because of its solemn and somber quality. Being a precocious child that I was, so I have been told, not in those words, but close to it, her words were like a magnetic force that beckoned me like a foghorn…Janice…Janice. And I was like the proverbial moth to the flame aka to those ignited words on paper and the lessons that were revealed about her dark, dark life were very illuminating later in MY life. Her use of symbolism, her frustrations with loved ones not understanding her, and the limited role of women in that era. Those that know her work and her life can vouch that she went through periods of depression and her writing reflected those moments of lows in her life very poetically. This was a starch contrast to any other female author of the time who shied away by telling children’s tales instead. The closest that a woman author has come to writing a dark novel around that era or previously was Charlotte Bronte with Jane Eyre. So if you would like to read a deeply witty and highly intellectually female author, look into Virginia Woolf.
Also, check out the movie “The Hours” which cover part of her life (See HERE).
Another author that “stuck” with me is Sylvia Plath. I discovered her during in many of my college courses in poetry and women literature. Her writing catalogs her despair, numerous emotions felt because of her condition, and an eery early obsession with death in deeply poignant words. It’s almost like she was plotting her death from the very beginning and her collective work was her “suicide note”, not hastily written like Virginia Woolf’s, but, meant to wound those she felt hurt her. Her word selection was so precise that I could feel her mental anguish. Like Virginia Woolf, she heavily depended on symbolism to speak about her state of mind, as twisted as that was. And like Virginia Woolf she took her own life when she was in her 30’s. Knowing me and how I express my feelings with a dark and mysterious wit that includes symbolism and references, I connected with her on a deep, mysterious level. It is safe to say that Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf are the two authors that I learnt from the most, and try to emulate in my use of language, and relate to the most.
J.K. Rowling’s first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” came out when I was in high school. There was a frenzy around me, almost to the point of an obsession, known at the time as the Harry Potter phenomenon. People were talking about it everywhere, from classrooms to restaurants. I read that book in probably one or two sittings.
But, then I stopped. I was too busy with school to even have time for pleasure reading. However, I found an opportunity to delve into the magical world of Hogwarts again. During college, I took a “DeCal” class at UC Berkeley. A DeCal class is a student-led class that offers students the opportunity to teach a topic in which they have some training and largely passionate about. The class was taught at 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday by one of my best friends in college along with a friend of hers in a small classroom at Wheeler Hall. Yes, that’s how excited and adamant I was to read these beautiful, beautiful books. Then in 2012, I made the goal to read the entire series back-to-back and completed the goal in 6 months.
I absolutely loved J.K. Rowling’s first series. I heard from a fan friend that her subsequent books were not that great, but it doesn’t fester me because her legacy and empire is THE Harry Potter series. I found these books to be highly imaginative and technically sound. The way she wove details with powerful and empathetic words, the way she used literary techniques such foreshadowing and symbolism to retain the readers’ interests and lastly, those quirky character names that have funny stories behind them, all make the entire reading experience physical (and emotional) for her fans. I wanted to be a writer because of her!
I mentioned Enid Blyton’s impact on my childhood in previous posts on the blog. You can read them HERE, HERE, HERE. When I read Enid Blyton books, I thought I was reading a well-written story written by a child my age. She just understood children like me like no other author at the time did. During the reading of her stories, if I felt like something was missing, I would continue reading, pregnant with a mental complaint and, there it was– there was the thing I felt that was missing. And I would be left in awe and hungry for more. The simple black-and-white illustrations in her book were hilarious and energetic. Those scribble-like pictures were so telling of the protagonist’s characterization through facial expressions, the way they dressed, and their actions. Highly recommend her books especially for those particularly imaginative kids.
For kids who would like to read up on female authors can look into the following:
- Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird (See HERE)
Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen: The Story of Six Novels, Three Notebooks, a Writing Box, and One Clever Girl (See HERE)
Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel (See HERE)
J.K. Rowling: Author of the Harry Potter Series (See HERE)
Game Changers: A Biography of J. K. Rowling (See HERE)
Who is J.K. Rowling? (See HERE)
Veronica Roth: Author of the Divergent Trilogy (See HERE)
Suzanne Collins: Author of the Hunger Games Trilogy (See HERE)
The Brontë Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne (See HERE)