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red 10-11-2002 12:07 AM

Strong Women Characters Books
 
I love The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
The TNT mini series couldn't do the book justice. The book, of course, is SO much better.

Another book I really like is The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Aside from falling in love with the cover art, the book is great too.

What are your favorites?

Unregistered 10-11-2002 12:31 AM

'beloved' is a great woman-centered narrative, as is 'the yellow wallpaper' by charlotte perkins gilman.

lapietra 10-11-2002 04:33 AM

oh, me too...
 
I *love* "The Mists of Avalon"... I always loved the Arthurian legends (who doesn't?) but I especially appreciated this book, first read when I began to be aware that women tended to be allowed to play very few roles in fantasy & sci fi -
I wish that someone would make a movie of it that wasn't afraid to *go there*, if you know what I mean - the mini-series they made was okay, but it was for TV so it had to walk a line... they did include a few daring elements but it could have been a *great* movie...
Also love Melanie Rawn's series' - my friend Monica turned me onto them a few years ago - some really great women characters, great ideas & story lines.

Wench 10-15-2002 07:23 PM

I highly recommend Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman and A Year By The Sea by Joan Anderson. Both of these gals are the real deal.

Rita's book is an account of her life as a nomad for the past 16 years. In her mid 40's she divorced, sold her home & furnishings and bought a plane ticket. She hasn't stopped traveling yet. I had the good fortune to meet Rita Golden as she passed thru my town and she cooks great Thai food.

If you are looking for fiction - anything by Laurell K. Hamilton. I liked Obsidian Butterfly. All of her women are strong and sassy.

jewelfish 10-23-2002 05:43 PM

I loved The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It tells the story of a family that moves to the Congo in 1959 because of the missionary father, and the subsequent conflicts which ensue.

There are 5 females in the story (the mother and 4 children), and each chapter is told from the point of view of one of the 5 females. Very interesting and individual characters, and the writing is inspiring. The story spans nearly 40 years.

saskuoch 11-03-2002 10:05 AM

After several people encouraged me to read the red tent, I finally gave up searching for it in used bookstores and bought it full price (I dislike being limited in the amount of time i have to read something, and the number of times I can read it...avoid libraries except for academic research). I couldn't put it down! My roommate saw me start reading it and asked if I was going to finish it that night. I told her "probably." Well, I actually finished it the next day. The women in the book weave their own lives so separately from their men, it's fantastic!

Isla 11-03-2002 03:32 PM

:)

I have my copy of The Mists of Avalon waiting for me to read it... I think I'll get started on it this afternoon. So many of my cyberfriends and RL friends have recommended it... I have no doubt that I too will enjoy it. I also have a copy of The Lovely Bones that I have yet to crack. I have more books in my office/library than I have time to read. Actually, I end up reading a lot more non-fiction than anything else. Not as fun, but very useful.

Let's see... I agree that Beloved is excellent (Toni Morrison is great)... I recommend just about anything by Margaret Atwood (I especially liked The Handmaid's Tale)...

Try

Amy Tan
Isabel Allende
Gabriel Garcia Marquez---Love in the Time of Cholera

And for just 'fun' summer type reads, The Nanny Diaries and Animal Husbandry are enjoyable.

red 11-14-2002 05:24 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by saskuoch
After several people encouraged me to read the red tent, I finally gave up searching for it in used bookstores and bought it full price (I dislike being limited in the amount of time i have to read something, and the number of times I can read it...avoid libraries except for academic research). I couldn't put it down! My roommate saw me start reading it and asked if I was going to finish it that night. I told her "probably." Well, I actually finished it the next day. The women in the book weave their own lives so separately from their men, it's fantastic!
I'm not surprised you couldn't find it used. I think everyone who reads it is hanging on to it or passing it to a friend to read.
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I tore through the book myself and I borrowed it from a friend.

Eruantale 12-10-2002 05:18 PM

Though true, it revolves mostly around male characters, one cannot read JRR Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" without revering the feminist tempest that is Eowyn. You can call him a misogynist all you want - all accusations of the like disappear at the sight of Eowyn brandishing a sword, riding a horse and fighting like all the men put together.

Then there's JK Rowling's "Harry Potter", which yet again, like with Tolkien, may revolve mostly around male characters, but I don't think there has so far been one woman there presented as weak-charactered. *thinks again* okay, there were. But really - professor McGonagall, Molly Weasley, Hermione Granger - all strong, determined, trouser-wearing female characters.

catbelly 12-10-2002 09:28 PM

I'm looking forward to seeing Eowyn onscreen, kicking some ass. *counting the days*

I wonder if they are going to make her role in the Two Towers more feminist to make the movie more appealing to women? Make the "woman scorned" aspect smaller, and the heroism less related to the men in her life?

Eruantale 12-11-2002 01:27 PM

Quote:

I wonder if they are going to make her role in the Two Towers more feminist to make the movie more appealing to women?
LOL, with all those gorgeous men all over the screen, I daresay the film's appealing enough to women (And some men ;)) as it is :D well, most of the ones I know, at any rate :D

I can't possibly think of how they could make her more of a feminist. I mean, the woman does everything but burn her bra :)
Frankly, one of the things I didn't like about the first film was what they'd done to Arwen: I was quite content with her just sitting there, being pretty. There were enough powerful females in the books - Galadriel, Eowyn and even Shelob - with all of whom I was more than satisfied. So taking her character and turning her into some Elvish Xena was a ridiculous thing to. I hope they didn't repeat that mistake with Eowyn - though judging by the trailer, it seems they've in fact made her much less a feminist than she was. Hmm, will have to locate and torture friends who went to the premiere (Bastards!) and get that information out of them some time soon :)

catbelly 12-11-2002 06:02 PM

Interesting! I got the opposite impression from the trailers. For instance, in the book, did she ever have sword-play with Aragorn and beat him (not that physical might equals feminist)? I don't remember that, although it was a year ago that I re-read the book. My impression of the book-Eowyn was that she was the queen of unrequited love (re: Aragorn). She did go to war in the face of opposition from her family, which I agree is a strong woman thing to do - but why did she do it? I wouldn't necessarily project feminist motivations on her.

Which, of course, is not necessarily *bad*, it just means that I don't necessarily believe she was a strong feminist. I think she was a tragic character, someone who was unrecognized by the people around her for her strengths. I can't remember, does Theoden even realize that it's she who saves him?

I think it's a really strong comment on the non-feminist tendencies of the book that someone so strong in swordplay and battle would be left at home while all of the other (male) people who were renowned for the same skills went to war. However, I don't knock it - it wasn't written in current times, after all.

What did you think was so feminist about her character?


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