The Literary Ladies' Guide to the Writing Life
Welcome to a site celebrating classic women authors who wrote in the English language. Here you’ll find their words of wisdom for readers and writers. Enjoy their life stories and quotations; learn more about their books; read their advice on the writing life; and enjoy contemporary voices on the writing process.
Dear Literary Ladies
Dear Literary Ladies,
You seem like such a prolific bunch, but like the rest of us who live by our pen, you likely feel blocked from time to time. How does this funky, uncomfortable, and sometimes scary feeling play out in your mind?
The dark times that came to me as a writer, those sterile periods when it seemed that not only the inkwell but the wells within had dried, were suffered alone. There doubtless have been and are creative writers who have not encountered this dark experience. The sense of aridity, the mind a desert, that usually follows the completion of a book. That sudden panic when every theme or plot your brain has cradled no longer so much as stirs. Read More→
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 – 1896), abolitionist, mother, and humanitarian, used her pen as a catalyst for change. She is best known for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was the second best-selling book of the 19th century (just after the Bible), and the first international bestseller from any author, male or female. There’s little dispute that the book created a major shift in public perception of slavery. Stowe was also concerned with the status of women, and used both her fiction and nonfiction writing to impart messages about their strength, intelligence, and worth. Read More→
Carson McCullers (1917-1967) wrote stories of lonely, obsessed, reclusive characters. McCullers moved to New York when she was 17 to study piano, but instead, ended up going to both NYU and Columbia to study creative writing. Her writing corresponded with her life, as it was often in flux and challenging. For much the time, she was debilitated by poor health, but she continued to work as long as she could, adapting her work to stage and film.
McCullers was considered a star among her peers because of the depth and intuition inherent in her work. Her most widely received works were The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, published in 1940,and Reflections in a Golden Eye, published in 1942. The Member of the Wedding also became widely known due to its adaptation to other media. Read More→