Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Nine top novels about women living alone

Amy Key is a poet and essayist based in London. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Luxe and Isn’t Forever.

Her new book, Arrangements in Blue: Notes on Loving and Living Alone, was inspired by her viral Granta essay, “A Bleed of Blue.”

At Electric Lit Key tagged nine "novels about women living alone." Her "list—by accident rather than intent—is formed of books where in solitude women contemplate their relationship to other women (in the main), rather than to men." One novel on the list:
Take What You Need by Idra Novey

Jean is an artist who doesn’t need anyone to confer the status of artist upon her. Her home, where she lives alone (other than an occasional, tacitly invited houseguest), is her studio and gallery. She longs to connect to her estranged stepdaughter Leah, and the novel is told in their alternating voices. Jean welds scrap metal together to create towers she embellishes with words and symbols and trinkets. The towers are imposing totems of Jean’s vitality, of all she’s learned from her experiences and from her beloved artists Louise Bourgeoise and Agnes Martin. The novel is uncomfortable and confronting at times, but it is invigorating too. An artist can create themselves at any stage of life and be aflame with artistic intent until the very end.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue