Thursday, July 06, 2023

Top ten elderly heroines in fiction

Amanda Craig is a British novelist, short-story writer and critic who has been compared to Dickens, Trollope, Balzac and Evelyn Waugh. As a literary chronicler of contemporary life she has been called a "state of the nation novelist" by Prospect magazine and the Sunday Times, and her interconnected novels often feature strong plots with murder, romance and social satire.

Craig's newest novel is The Three Graces.

At the Guardian she tagged ten books featuring "strong, challenging, intellectually active elderly women." One title on the list:
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Strout’s 2008 Pulitzer prize-winning collection of 13 interlinked short stories concerns the lives of the residents of the fictional small town of Crosby, Maine. They are held together by the central, larger-than-life character of the retired schoolteacher Olive. Lonely, greedy for life and uncomfortably honest, she is what Austen’s Emma might have become in old age. “Don’t be scared of your hunger. If you’re scared of your hunger, you’ll just be one more ninny like everyone else,” she remarks. Olive was such a hit with readers that she went on to feature in three more books and a TV adaptation starring Frances McDormand.
Read about another entry on the list.

Olive Kitteridge is among Elizabeth Lowry's top ten difficult marriages in fiction, Lisa Harding's six top out-of-control characters in literary fiction, Genevieve Plunkett's seven books about the search for intimacy, Emma Duffy-Comparone’s seven darkly humorous titles about relationships, Susie Yang's six titles featuring dark anti-heroines, Sara Collins's six favorite bad women in fiction, Laura Barnett's ten top unconventional love stories, and Sophie Ward's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue