Saturday, December 15, 2007
Nineteenth Century Women Writers Challenge
Edited to add: The first round-up post can be found here. For the winter/spring reading of January through March, visit this post to leave your reviews OR leave your mini-review in the comments section if you don't have a blog of your own.
Okay, okay. I shouldn't really be thinking about hosting another challenge. But sometimes I just can't resist. This one will focus on--you guessed it--Women Writers who were writing in the nineteenth century. 1800-1899. (Or if you prefer 1801-1900). Any nationality. Any genre. British. American. Canadian. Etc. Poetry. Nonfiction. (Yes, essays count.) Fiction--whether short stories or novels. The author qualifies as long as they were female and writing at some time in those hundred years. (Note: If it was written during this time, but not published until after the author's death, it still counts for this challenge. If it was written before this time period (for example, 1700-1800) but first published within this time period (1800-1900), then I say it still counts. However, if the author was merely born in this time period but didn't write or publish anything until the next century, I say it doesn't count. And I'm willing to look the other way if you've got a book that you've been wanting to read that let's say was published in 1798 or 1902. But that's about as far as I'll go--two years in either direction.)
To sign up simply leave a comment.
You can find a long list of examples at A Celebration of Women Writers. There are also website specializing in particular periods (Victorian, for example) or specializing in nationality (British, for example). Or specializing in a particular author or family of authors (Bronte sisters, for example). I also know there is a great site that documents the American South. Fiction. Nonfiction. Both sides.
Other sites you might find helpful:
About site on Women Writers 1801-1900
African American Women Writers of the 19th Century
Domestic Goddesses: AKA Scribbling Women
A Celebration of Women Writers
The challenge will last all of 2008. But don't feel the need to stretch your reading out for all twelve months. Read what you want, when you want. How many books am I asking? I'd strongly suggest six books. But if you can only squeeze in four, I'll allow it. 6 Books, 12 Months. Overlaps with other challenges encouraged. (For example, 2 of your 6 can be titles you're reading for the Jane-Austen Mini-Challenge I'm hosting.)
Examples: Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, George Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen, all of the Bronte sisters, Elizabeth Gaskell, Kate Chopin, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, etc. I'm sure I'm missing some biggies...but that's what I can think of off the top of my head.
What about poetry? What about short stories? If you choose a poet, then please review at least several poems or a whole collection of poems to review. If there is only one poem by that author that is available, then you may count it. (But try not to let this challenge just be reviewing six individual poems.) Short stories? Again, if there is a collection of short stories available by a particular author, review at least several of them and have them count as one.
What about biographies? If you want to read a biography of an author of this time period, then that works for me. Try to keep it balanced. If you go that route, maybe keep it three biographies and three actual works (novels, poetry collections, short story collections, autobiographies, essays, travel journals, letters, diaries etc.) by a qualifying author.
Becky's List (Of The Moment...You know how often I change my mind...)
At least 2 books by Jane Austen
At least 2 books by one or more Brontes
The Awakening and Other Stories by Kate Chopin
1 book by George Eliot (Middlemarch? Mill on the Floss? Something else...???)
Perhaps a poetry collection of Emily Dickinson???