Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Well, Read Women

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Apparently she took up writing as she decided she could do a better job than many of the books that were available back then.

    That's a very good reason for writing anything -- if nobody else is writing what you want to read, why not give it a poke? :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Yes, and I have a copy somewhere. There was also a documentary about her a few years ago. I have a friend who collects Moomin things (mainly from Japan) and gives them for presents so I have a lovely Moomin calendar in the kitchen.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to TracyMac,

    Not to say that Moon hasn’t done fantastic research – the soldiering is incredibly true-to-life.

    Elizabeth Moon was an officer in the US Marines.

    She tells a story on one of her blogs about why she joined the Marines. Coming out of University, she decided to join the military, and went to a recruitment day somewhere. The Airforce said "We'd love to have you", the Army said "We'd love to have you" and the Marine recruiting sergeant said "You'd never pass basic training..."

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    That's a very good reason for writing anything -- if nobody else is writing what you want to read, why not give it a poke? :)

    Indeed, although the results are not always as fabulous as was the case for Munro. The same motivation also applied to Agnes-Mary Brooke, who took to writing her own books for children as she was so dismayed what she saw as the left-wing agenda in NZ children's authors (warning: contains a reference to Investigate magazine).

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Chamberlain,

    This Buzzfeed article is both hilarious and frustrating:
    Author posted a personal ad saying she wasn't interested in guys who don't read books by women. She got lots of messages from guys either criticising her, or asking for recommendations. Yep. Completely unable to find one book by a woman on their own. For rage-laughs, read the comments which explain she is giving feminism a bad name and she should educate these poor men.
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/accio-soulmate#.yidXLajwn

    London • Since Aug 2007 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Simon Chamberlain,

    This Buzzfeed article is both hilarious and frustrating:

    That's it! That's the column I read, didn't bookmark, and then couldn't find again. And as usual, the comments justify the article.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Chamberlain,

    :). I was expecting you to mention it in your original article, it definitely seemed like you'd read it or something similar.

    If we're still adding recommendations, I enjoyed Elizabeth Knox's Wake a lot (sci-fi/horror set near Nelson).

    London • Since Aug 2007 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Simon Chamberlain,

    Someone in the comments is all "I only read Pratchett and Gaiman", and I've had EXACTLY that conversation with someone I know.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    I'm genuinely shocked that people would avoid women writers. How is that even a thing?

    Classic books by women I love, "Passing" by Nella Larsen, anything by Sigrig Undset,I love Rumer Godden. Virginia Woolf of course.

    Since May 2009 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Simon Chamberlain,

    If we're still adding recommendations, I enjoyed Elizabeth Knox's Wake a lot (sci-fi/horror set near Nelson).

    Wake struck me as the kind of thing Neil Gaiman might just manage if he gets over pandering to 'inner kids'.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Simon Chamberlain,

    Elizabeth Knox’s Wake a lot (sci-fi/horror set near Nelson).

    Her Dreamhunter duet is in similar geography - but wider...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    I was well aware of Alice Munro when I lived in Victoria, British Columbia, for a couple of years, as there was a magnificent local bookstore (Munro’s books) which was founded by Munro and her then-husband in 1963.

    And still going strong! I wish I could find the link again, but there was a rather amusing piece about how after she won the Nobel the staff found themselves explaining they really couldn’t put the owner’s first wife on the phone since she hasn’t worked there for over forty years. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Someone in the comments is all “I only read Pratchett and Gaiman”, and I’ve had EXACTLY that conversation with someone I know.

    I've also had that kind of conversation with someone who claims to be a serious crime/mystery reader. I was literally lost for words -- and everyone here should know how rare that is. FFS, I just can't take anyone seriously who claims to be a fan of this genre but says with a straight face they've never read Christie, Sayers, Marsh and Allingham. Or Patricia Highsmith. Ruth Rendell and P.D. James? Anne Rule -- the 'Queen of True Crime' who died earlier this week? Closer to home: How about Kerry Greenwood, Anne Perry and Vanda Symon? Margaret Millar? Gladys Mitchell? Marina Cole? Gillian Flynn? Patricia Cornwall and Sara Paretsky, who (IMO) aren't at the top of their game anymore but still productive? Susan Hill?

    That's just the names I've pulled out of the air -- and none of whom are hard to find in any decently stocked public library or bookstore (new or secondhand).

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Someone in the comments is all “I only read Pratchett and Gaiman”

    That, and not reading anything by a woman writer just because of who they are, does not make any sense to me.
    It's like a part of the reasoning process is missing, leaving me going "What?". More, its as if this part was not even simply overlooked but wilfully ignored - WTF?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    none of whom are hard to find in any decently stocked public library or bookstore (new or secondhand).

    Probably a bit late to happen upon any copies that were "enhanced" by rogue borrower Joe Orton. Dorothy Sayers seems to have been a favourite target.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

    Harper Lee? Have just finished Go Set a Watchman, and was pleased to find the world didn't end.

    It's hard to say that I 'liked' it. I didn't hate it, and it was an easy read in the sense the characters were familiar, if a little disappointing. Scout spends a lot of time reminiscing, and internalising complicated situations in her head, and I would end it differently. But hey, this was never supposed to be published, so we take what we can get, right?

    Interested if others have read it, and what your thoughts are.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2448 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Risking derailing the thread, but I'm curious to know if anyone has ever read any good depictions of women in literature written by men.

    Thoughts?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Thomas Hardy's

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Rerailing – Roy and Woolf are two of my favourite authors.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Rich Lock,

    good depictions of women in literature written by men.

    Patrick White.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Rich Lock,

    good depictions of women in literature written by men

    Michael Cunningham, The Hours.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to chris,

    Thomas Hardy

    Bathsheba Everdene, sure. Tess of the D'Urbervilles? Hmm. I remember finding her very insipid when I read the book at high school but my adult self might be a bit more sympathetic to poor Tess.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    How awesome is this news, which no doubt you've all heard by now? NZ poet Anna Smaill makes Booker long list with her fiction debut. Being on the same list as Anne Tyler, Anne Enright, Marilynne Robinson - just WOW.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Well, yes. Was very pleasantly surprised to find I'd not only read nine of the longlisted titles this year (including The Chimes), but liked them all. Hasn't happened for years. But with all due and sincere respect to Smaill, Marilynne Robinson's Lila is leading the pack by a considerable margin. This, along with Gilead and Home was well worth waiting two-and-a-half decades for.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Thanks again – I can hardly say it enough – for the recommendations of Elena Ferrante's 'Neopolitan Novels'. Just finished the final book. The whole series has been the most compelling reading I’ve done for years. Just staggeringly good!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

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