We are in for a fast, furious and FUN year in the Rediscovering the Classics group this year! Last year the theme was “An Exploration of Genre”, and when I realized that the syllabus I was putting together was 90% male authors I decided to go all-out with all-male authors in each genre. What this means is that this year we get a syllabus full of wonderful WOMEN authors in every genre!
This year’s syllabus is unique not only because it’s all women, but also because each book was written comparatively recently. (All of the books on the list were published after 1900.) While I could have chosen the very ancient and revered The Tale of Genji or the poetry of Sappho to put on the list, I felt that, for the most part, the female experience–and especially the female experience in the world of publishing–was more accurately represented by the more modern novels listed below. (Yes, there are plenty of women writing before 1900 whose work accurately represent the female experience, but we’ve read many of them in previous years, and also, at the end of the day I had to choose. This is what you get.)
I hope this will be a dynamic and fun year, with brisk opinions and warm conversation! And I especially hope that the books below will inspire you to read more from these (and other) authors in each genre!
Let me know in the comments what books or authors YOU think represent the essence of the female experience in each of these genres. And if you’d like to read along with us and join in the discussion, check out Rediscovering the Classics on Facebook.
October 11th: Mystical – An Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim, (p. 1922, Australian)
October 25th: Horror – The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (p. 1959, American)
November 8th and 22nd: Biography – My Life in France by Julia Child (with Alex Prud’homme) (p. 2006, American)
December 6th and 20th: Bildungsroman (Coming of Age) – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (p. 1943, American)
January 10th: Epic – Orlando by Virginia Woolf (p. 1928, British)
January 24th: Adventure – The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emma Orczy (p. 1903, Hungarian)
February 7th and 21st: Romance – The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton (p. 1938, American)
March 14th and 28th: Science Fiction – Kindred by Octavia Butler (p. 1979, African American)
April 11th: Postmodern – Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (p. 1966, Dominican-European)
May 9th and 23rd: Children’s Literature – The Secret Garden by Fraces Hodgson Burnett (p. 1910, serial format, Britsh-American)