Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Feminist books written by men?

Not this one. I started getting excited as I followed a link about a book titled: Wicked Witch of the West that "has been sighted in bookstores under various headings: Literature, Feminism, Fantasy and Science Fiction," but after reading an excerpt, not only would I not read the book, I wouldn't make it past the first chapter of a borrowed copy. I only read an excerpt, mind you, but I could tell after the first paragraph that it was written by a male author (I didn't check the name until I finished reading several paragraphs): one apparently schooled in the art of the badly written romance (ughh) and/or sci-fi novel. "Even in morning disarray, with a belly like a scow, she was majestically good-looking. Her hair had the bright lacquered look of wet fallen oak leaves in sunlight." Okay, no woman (with the possible exception of Danielle Steele) or artist would write a passage like that. This is not literature, and I can't believe that such un-empathitic writing can be feminist. In the review (written by a man I am sure), John Updike was sited as loving the book. Now, I have great respect for John Updike as an artist: his works meet my (admittedly extremely snobbish and obnoxious) definition of literature, but feminist, he is not. I was surprised to find that the author of She's Come Undone was so enamored: I really enjoyed that book and was shocked to discover that it was written by a man (one of few books that I've ever read written by a male author that fits my definition of feminist literature). I must say, I love reading pap of all kinds, even the occasional trash romance novel, but when this author is referenced to be in the same league as Shakespeare and Milton, someone has to take a stand!

Of course, I haven't read the book. I might actually enjoy it. I might find it feminist and fabulous.

I don't think so.


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