Although not terribly late in the year, I am proud to say that my New Year Resolution is still in tact and growing stronger by the book – I didn’t choose to quit smoking (though I will one day soon), I most definitely couldn’t make it through January dry and the thought of joining a gym fills me fear and self-consciousness induced mild panic. Instead I resolved to read, not just to read more but read female.
I thought of my previous years literature and realised that the majority of it was written by male authors. My thoughts moved then to wondering which female authors I had a read as an adult, I knew many names but had not really delved into their books. As a child and teenager I had got the most joy from books by female authors – from the heart breaking stories in Marita Conlon-McKenna’s Children of the Famine trilogy, Jacqueline Wilson’s tumultuous family tales to Louise Rennison making my sides split with the teen tales of Georgia Nicolson and her really big knickers. I knew for sure then that this was my year for female literature.
I wouldn’t claim to be the best read person around by a long shot but it was while I was compiling my reading list that I realised how much I had been missing out on. Never had I intentionally avoided female writers, it is just the way it worked out – I can’t blame any outside influences either, I don’t think at least. Over the years, however, I have identified more and more with the feminist movement and was quite disgraced with myself by how little one of my biggest passions, reading, had taken this on board when it seemed such an obvious thing.
Anyway, so far I have read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tar Baby by Toni Morrison and am about to embark on some Virginia Woolf.
I have a extensive list but suggestions would be welcomed!