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 Millions6 min read
Fairfield Porter: Artist, Writer, Heretic
He painted what was in front of him, producing an elegant rebuttal of the claim that it was no longer possible for a figurative painter to say anything new. The post Fairfield Porter: Artist, Writer, Heretic appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions4 min read
Eight Essential Books Set in the Middle of Nowhere
Turns out, no matter what remote place we wind up, we can’t escape ourselves. The post Eight Essential Books Set in the Middle of Nowhere appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions4 min read
‘Riots I Have Known’: Featured Fiction from Ryan Chapman
Lopez, right before they stabbed him in the yard—this was maybe last winter or the winter previous—you know what he said? He said: “Time makes fools of us all.” The post ‘Riots I Have Known’: Featured Fiction from Ryan Chapman appeared first on The M