Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Six top heroic women in literature

Candice Carty-Williams is a British writer, best known for her 2019 bestselling debut novel, Queenie.

Queenie has been described as "vital," "disarmingly honest," and "boldly political," and has been shortlisted for the Waterstones, Foyles and Goodreads Book of 2019, as well as selected as the Blackwell’s Debut of the Year.

At the Waterstones blog, Carty-Williams tagged "six characters who taught me all of the different but powerful faces that heroism can have," including:
Sethe in Beloved by Toni Morrison

So many of my literary heroes are black women who are completely oppressed by a burden we can never know, and Sethe really tops that list. She is literally haunted by her dead daughter, who returns as a ghost to upheave Sethe’s whole life. Beloved isn’t a story of overcoming and triumph, it’s a story of living with a pain of your own making that’s in turn a making of the environment you’re in. The character of Sethe is a masterclass in black women’s endurance, in fragile strength, and in a heroism that comes at a painful price.
Read about another entry on the list.

Beloved also appears on Kate Racculia's list of ten gothic fiction titles that meant something to her, Emily Temple's list of the ten books that defined the 1980s, Megan Abbott's list of six of the best books based on true crimes, Melba Pattillo Beals's 6 favorite books list, Sarah Porter's list of five favorite books featuring psychological hauntings, Matthew Fellion and Katherine Inglis' list of ten books that were subject to silencing or censorship, Jeff Somers's list of ten fictional characters based on real people, Christopher Barzak's top five list of books about magical families, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's ten top list of wartime love stories, Judith Claire Mitchell's list of ten of the best (unconventional) ghosts in literature, Kelly Link's list of four books that changed her, a list of four books that changed Libby Gleeson, The Telegraph's list of the 15 most depressing books, Elif Shafak's top five list of fictional mothers, Charlie Jane Anders's list of ten great books you didn't know were science fiction or fantasy, Peter Dimock's top ten list of books that challenge what we think we know as "history", Stuart Evers's top ten list of homes in literature, David W. Blight's list of five outstanding novels on the Civil War era, John Mullan's list of ten of the best births in literature, Kit Whitfield's top ten list of genre-defying novels, and at the top of one list of contenders for the title of the single best work of American fiction published in the last twenty-five years.

--Marshal Zeringue