Dear Literary Ladies,
My desire to be a really good writer exceeds nearly all else. But like a lot of artists, I fear what I want most. It’s like I’m tripping over my own feet. I’m self-conscious and that “trying too hard” style shows up in my writing. How can I get out of my own way and find my unique voice?
The business of writing is a personal problem and must be worked out in an individual way. A great many people ambitious to write, fall by the wayside, but if they are the discourageable kind it is better that they drop out. No beginner knows what [she] has to go through with or [she] would never begin. Read More→
Kate Chopin is best known for her short novel The Awakening, published in 1899. One critic who admired the writing style but questioned the motives of the book was none other than Willa Cather. Cather’s review of The Awakening was mixed, though she offered a thoughtful analysis and compares some aspects of the book to Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary:
Many other critics weren’t as kind. Some reviled the book and it was widely banned for decades after its publication. The story’s main character, Edna Pontellier, craves a life and identity outside of society’s proscribed roles as wife and mother. That made the slim novel quite controversial.
Though it received at best mixed reviews when it first appeared, it’s now considered a feminist classic. Cather was a young critic in her mid-twenties when she wrote the following review that appeared in July of 1899 in The Pittsburgh Leader. Read More→