The Millions

Behind Every Great Woman Writer Is Another Woman

It’s easy to buy into the classic image of the isolated female author: the eccentric Brontë sisters, wandering the moors; lofty George Eliot, sequestered in her London villa; a melancholic Virginia Woolf, loading her pockets with stones before stepping into the River Ouse. Male writers, on the other hand, often come in pairs: Fitzgerald and Hemingway on their riotous drinking sprees, Wordsworth and Coleridge hiking together through the Lakeland hills, Byron and Shelley encouraging each other’s sexual escapades.

As two modern-day writers, we’ve long found it intriguing that legendary male authors are cast as social creatures while their female counterparts are remembered as cloistered figures. We became close friends more than a decade-and-a-half ago when we were taking our first tentative steps on the long path to publication. In the years since, we’ve supported each other every step of the way: commenting on countless drafts, sharing details about literary agents and competition deadlines, and offering a sympathetic ear when the going got tough. Our experiences as struggling young writers suggested to us that history’s best-known female authors would also have welcomed a literary friend, especially, perhaps, during those

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Millions

The Millions2 min read
This Is the Right Way to Capitalize Headlines
Welcome back to Do You Copy, our series on copyediting (copy editing? copy-editing?) that investigates some of the editorial life’s deepest mysteries. The post This Is the Right Way to Capitalize Headlines appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions13 min read
Magic in the Mundane: The Millions Interviews Kimberly King Parsons
A good, long talk with the ‘Black Light’ debut author about bodies, secrets, the patriarchy, escaping it, revision, Amy Hempel, and more. The post Magic in the Mundane: The Millions Interviews Kimberly King Parsons appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions2 min read
The Millions Top Ten: July 2019
Benjamin Dreyer graduates to our Hall of Fame, making room for new Colson Whitehead, while Sally Rooney pulls off the extremely rare double listing. The post The Millions Top Ten: July 2019 appeared first on The Millions.