Wednesday, December 08, 2004

So I went to a bookstore yesterday on a mission. A Cappella books, in Little Five Points is apparently the best used bookstore in the ATL, so I felt compelled to check it out. My mission, in response to several recent conversations, was to locate quality fiction written by women.

I failed.

I think part of the reason for the failure was the character of the store itself. Little Five Points is the "eclectic" "hippie" area of Atlanta, situated basically halfway in between my apartment and the Prison, all of which makes for a really interesting mix. A Cappella is smaller than I thought, but they run their own independent printing press, and specialize in the social and political...maybe we could say the anti-social and anti-political. Hey, I'm down with that.

So there wasn't a whole lot of fiction to begin with. On a side note, cell phones are also not welcome. When my dad called, aggravated about my car issues, the manager politely asked me to "refrain from using your phone inside the store." Yeah, he said "refrain."

Anyway, the bookstore rocks. But my mission failed. I went in search of quality fiction by women, and ended up leaving with a bunch of theology books by old men. Damn.

So, I'm attempting to create a list of required female authors. Suggestions are appreciated.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dana,
Some good female fiction authors are Zadie Smith, who wrote White Teeth, which is very good, and Jhumpa Lahiri, who wrote Interpreter of Maladies (book of short stories) and The Namesake (novel), which are both very good.
Enjoy!
Ginny

Dana said...

woohoo! Thanks, Ginny. Hope you're doing well up in NoVa

Anonymous said...

Well, throughout high school and college I always had teachers and profs that had us read women fiction writers so I have some suggestions for you. Zora Neale Hurston (especially Their Eyes Were Watching God) is great, as is the wonderful Toni Morrison. Sylvia Plath is interesting in a Girl, Interrupted kind of way (check out The Bell Jar), but probably my favorite female fiction writer is Donna Tartt. If you've never read The Secret History by her, get it fast and read it, it's amazing!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Joe :)

Beth said...

Well, I went in the store with you and I left with Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf) and a book about Zack Hanson.
I'm not sure how much of it was the lack of women authors available and how much of it was your general proclivity toward theology, which seems to lack female authors.

Anyway, here are some I like:
-- Kate Chopin, for dark late 18th century stories of women stuck in mundane upper class lives
-- Toni Cade Bambara, for rich urban stories
-- Jill McCorkle, for modern stories and novels that vary greatly but usually have dark humor
-- Marian Keyes, for light novels about young Irish women in careers, seeking to be grown up but still attached to the transient lifestyle of a college girl (think Bridget Jones)
-- Gwendolyn Brooks, for fantastic poetry about a variety of subjects, most of them relating to the African American experience in America
-- Kaye Gibbons, for her excellent, but not so light novels about life in America (for people without all the advantages money can buy)
-- Lorna Landvik, for her accurate and humorous portrayal of the women living in the state of my youth, Minnesota
-- Margaret Atwood, for scary but vivid ideas of what could be if we don't watch out

So, eight women for you to consider, from your friend with the English degree and very little knowledge of theology. At last, my major comes in handy!
Rock on, and read up!

Beth said...

Ha! Kate Chopin was late 19th century. Alas. Sorry to have misled you.