By Lynne Weiss | On October 2, 2022 | Updated October 3, 2022 | Comments (0)
What is it that makes us long to see what the writers we love once saw? To stand in their footsteps? Do we imagine that some fairy dust will fall from nearby trees or rise from abandoned floorboards to bring us the wisdom or the art that flowed from their fingers to their manuscripts, whether through pens or pencils, typewriter keys, or pixels?
That’s what was on my mind on a visit to Cornwall, England, when I was determined to get to Godrevy Light, the lighthouse that inspired Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. Read More→
By Nava Atlas | On August 27, 2022 | Updated August 29, 2022 | Comments (0)
When it comes to women author’s friendships, it’s understood that the writers’ common struggles benefit from mutual support. I wonder how much rivalry is involved, though, since writers can be an envious lot.
There are few templates for friendships between women writers, especially after one or both achieves some measure of success. Yes, there is mutual support. And yes, there is a measure of envy and rivalry.
This type of camaraderie has, and has always had, its delights as well as its complications. The well-known friendships between women who are now considered classic authors were no exception. Read More→
By Elodie Barnes | On August 16, 2022 | Updated August 17, 2022 | Comments (2)
Literary mythology has often portrayed Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield as bitter rivals, but they were close friends and, for the most part, mutually supportive writing colleagues.
The rivalry between the two brilliant writers served as inspiration to both, a spur to do better. Virginia said of Katherine, “I was jealous of her writing. The only writing I have ever been jealous of.”
In October 1917, Virginia Woolf recorded in her diary her first, decidedly mixed impressions of fellow writer Katherine Mansfield. Katherine “stinks like a civet cat that had taken to street walking,” she wrote. “In truth, I’m a little shocked by her commonness at first sight; lines so hard & cheap. However, when this diminishes, she is so intelligent & inscrutable that she repays friendship.” Read More→
By Nava Atlas | On July 29, 2022 | Updated January 22, 2023 | Comments (2)
In this site’s overview of classic women authors and their dogs and cats, it seems like dogs have the clear edge as writers’ preferred furry friends. But digging deeper, I’m no longer so sure of that! As it turns out, women authors and their cats are just as companionable, which this roundup will amply demonstrate.
I got to thinking about this when I heard that my friend and colleague Bob Eckstein had produced The Complete Book of Cat Names (That Your Cat Won’t Answer to, Anyway). Bob is a New Yorker cartoonist and a wonderful watercolorist. You may also enjoy this excerpt from his book, Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores. Read More→
By Lynne Weiss | On June 29, 2022 | Updated June 30, 2022 | Comments (2)
In September 1856, the 36-year-old woman heretofore known as Mary Ann Evans (alternatively Marian) wrote in her journal that she had “made a new era” in her life, “for it was then I began to write fiction.”
It was a new era in another way, as well, because it was soon after this that Mary Ann Evans began to transform herself into the author we know as the eminent British novelist and essayist, George Eliot (1819 – 1880).
Mary Ann Evans was in the process of reinventing herself in several ways. A few months after she began writing fiction, she sent a letter to her beloved brother Isaac in which she announced, “You will be surprised to learn … that I have changed my name and have someone to take care of me in the world.” Read More→