Daily Archives for: January 1st, 2017

Are women authors held to different standards than men?

Dear Literary Ladies,

Do you think women writers are (or should be) judged by different standards than men?

To value praise or stand in awe of blame we must respect the source whence the praise and blame proceed, and I do not respect an inconsistent critic. He says, “If Jane Eyre be the production of a woman, she must be a woman unsexed.’

In that case the book is an unredeemed error and should be unreservedly condemned. Jane Eyre is a woman’s autobiography, by a woman it is professedly written. If it is written as no woman would write, condemn it with spirit and decision—say it is bad, but do not eulogise and then detract. I am reminded of The Economist. The literary critic of that paper praised the book if written by a man, and pronounced it ‘odious’ if the work of a woman. Read More→

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Shaggy Muses by Maureen Adams: A Review

Shaggy Muses by Maureen Adams is the story of how dogs inspired five of the greatest female writers in history: Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edith Wharton, and Emily Brontë.

Each woman had a very different relationship with her dog. The premise of the book is that the relationships the women had with their dogs influenced their writing. My two favorite sections were those about Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Emily Dickinson. Read More→

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Women Writers and Money: To Have or Have Not

Women writers and money — not always a comfortable combination. Writing isn’t always (or isn’t often) a vocation with which one can make a good living, though it is possible, even without a runaway bestseller.

“How quickly the minutes fly when you are writing to please your heart. I pity those who write for money or for fame. Money is debasing, and fame transitory and exacting. But for your own heart … Oh, what a difference!” ( Anaïs Nin, The Early Diaries of Anaïs Nin, October, 1921)

Ah, youth! To be unconcerned with the intersection of art and commerce, to create only to please your own heart! How lovely, how idealistic—but ultimately, if you want to shape any semblance of a career doing what you love, how unrealistic. Read More→

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