I was kindly tagged by Rachel to do the Feminist Book Tag, which I’m super excited about. So, let’s not waste any time, and just jump right in.
- Your favorite female author
I’m glad Rachel mentioned several, because there’s no way I’d have wanted the pressure of choosing just one. Here are a few that instantly spring to mind: Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Kirsty Logan, J.K. Rowling and Alice Thompson.
- Your favorite heroine
There are so many I could choose here. In the spirit of mentioning one of my slightly less obvious favourites, I’ll pick Mary Katherine (Merricat) from We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. She’s easily one of the most delightfully odd, disturbed and fascinating protagonists I’ve encountered.
- A novel with a feminist message
Asking for it by Louise O’Neill is all about the poisonous culture of slut-shaming. What’s really interesting is that O’Neill presents us with a very unlikable heroine, and in doing so shows us why people find it so easy to pin the blame on a ‘certain type’ of girl where sexual abuse and harassment are concerned – and why this mentality is so dangerous.
- A novel with a girl on the cover
The more the better, right? Here are a few random cover selections from my shelves that I really like:
- A novel featuring a group of girls
Such Small Hands by Andrés Barba is a quietly sinister tale set in a girls’ orphanage. It captures the cruelty that children are capable of; the confusion and bewilderment that lies on the cusp between childhood innocence and adolescence; the fascination with bodies that emerges with youth; and the doll-like, compliant nature that girls are so often expected to assume.
- A novel with a LGBTQIAP+ female character
The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg is a fantastic and beautiful graphic novel about two female lovers using the power of storytelling to outsmart sleazy men so they can be together.
- A novel with different feminine POV
Like Rachel, I’m not entirely sure what this question was asking for… The Bees by Laline Paul is literally told from the perspective of a female bee. I actually ended up not liking this book all that much, but a bee is a pretty ‘different’ POV, right?
- A book where a girl saves the world
I don’t want to spoil too much, but if you’ve read The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, you’ll likely know what I mean when I say that the world is technically saved by Melanie and Miss Justineau at the end, albeit in a suitably off-kilter and disturbing way.
- A book where you prefer the female sidekick to the male MC
I mean, we all knew I was going to mention Hermione Granger somewhere in this tag. Of all the categories, this one seemed the most appropriate. Sorry, Harry, but Hermione is queen.
- A book written by a male author and featuring a female character
Oh, there are lots of great examples. Again, why mention just one?
Malorie from Bird Box by Josh Malerman is a fantastic heroine. She goes through a dramatic development arc, and through her, Malerman explores really great moral questions regarding motherhood and survival.
Melody from All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan is a phenomenally complex and layered heroine. Her emotional turmoil and moral struggles drive the entire narrative.
Tess from Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy is perhaps one of the most sympathetic characters I’ve ever encountered. I mean, this book was written by a dude in 1891, and the whole message of it is basically about how utterly unfair society is, with men consistently treating women like trash and then blaming them for it. I wish we could say everything has changed…
There we have it! Thanks again to Rachel for tagging me. I invite anyone who wants to get involved to do so.