men respect women

lynzi asked if there are any women writers i respect, and i thought i’d answer publicly. i’m a real man’s fiction lover: peter carey, david wallace, david maine, richard russo, russell banks, charles mccarry, david mitchell, you’ve heard me praise them over and over.

but there are more than a few female authors i really love to read, too, so here they are.

i can’t say enough about annie dillard‘s pilgrim at tinker creek, and i’ll be tackling her novel, the living, at the beginning of the 2007-2008 season of 52 books. her powers of observation and description are anointed.

i’ve told you before about marilynne robinson, winner of the 2004 pulitzer prize for fiction for her amazingly graceful gilead. her debut novel, housekeeping, written something like 25 years earlier, is also astounding. i hope she writes another in my lifetime (or hers).

although i can’t get through all of her books, toni morrison‘s best books are giants: beloved, song of solomon, the bluest eye.

i love kaye gibbons‘s southern world. she recently published the long-delayed follow-up to ellen foster, a great read (and another super-quick one, too, lynz!).

alice munro writes quiet, powerful short stories (about women), and she’s pretty consistently worth waiting for.

i don’t know that these names tower above any others for me, but i think the best book i read this year was joan didion‘s the year of magical thinking; i haven’t yet been disappointed by the fairy-worlds of susanna clarke; if i ever get to another title, i think i could grow to love anne tyler‘s writing.

and, you know, i’m waiting expectantly to read harry potter and the deathly hallows, written by a woman.

how about you, dear reader. any women writers you really like?

0 thoughts on “men respect women”

  1. That’s a big 10-4 (that’s guy CB talk) on Annie Dillard, Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, and Alice Munro. And I tried, in vain, to name my firstborn Flannery (Kate’s objection: it sounds too much like pajamas), so you probably know where I stand on Ms. O’Connor. I’ll be curious to hear what you think of Dillard’s “The Living,” Josh. I love almost everything Annie’s written, but I didn’t love, or even like, “The Living.” I found it rambling and boring. I’m ambivalent on Anne Tyler. She’s written some very good books (My favorite is “Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant”), but a lot of her work strikes me fair-to-middling chick lit. Same with Barbara Kingsolver, who has some interesting things to say, but who doesn’t say them all that well. Other (somewhat contemporary — I assume we’re not talking Jane Austen here) favorites: Anne Lamott (wonderfully real, funny, irreverent takes on the Christian life), Eudora Welty, Nadine Gordimer, Iris Murdoch.

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