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Real Men don’t read Female Authors !

Home Forums Lounge Real Men don’t read Female Authors !

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  • #4028
    • Total Posts 669

    I grew up with something of a prejudice against female authors who I reckoned wrote prissy, genteel stuff reflecting their backgrounds.

    Having recently read Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, I’ve had to revise my views. These books really are masterpieces and probably better than anything  I ‘ve read in Dickens. You are left thinking that the Bronte sisters  arrived well before their time.

    Are those that vote Jane Eyre as one of best books of all time  overwhelmingly female or do a lot men read female authors in a closet ?

    Views ?

    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386

    A good question zilzal .. Jane Eyre is excellent, I read it years ago and remember it well enough.

    I tend to mainly read books written by men, I don’t know why, it’s not an intention on my part. It’s probably more to do with the genres that I read, I suppose.

    Andrew Hughes
    • Total Posts 1904

    Being the proud owner of a television set, I grew up with something of a prejudice against authors and books generally.

    You grew up owning a television set? That’s the trouble with these middle class kids, they get everything on a plate. I didn’t own a television set until I left home. :)

    I have to say I have always found the work of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters to be on the tedious side of dull, but I think they may have been constrained in what they could write about and it is, of course, a matter of opinion.  

    These days I don’t think there are any obstacles and female authors are free to be as bad as men (JK Rowling, Martina Cole etc.)

    As Dave alluded to there are still ghettoes of fiction though, on the one hand, absurd American thrillers (anything by Tom Clancy, the Da Vinci Farce, John Grisham) and on the other, lightweight drivel conciously aimed at women (Helen Fielding, Kathy Lette). The publishing industry is often to blame for trying to sell certain books at what they perceive to be distinct groups in society.

    My favourite female author would be Virginia Woolf. Colossal snob and somewhat unbalanced, but ‘Mrs Dalloway’ is sublime. And not a bonnet in sight.

    Andrew Hughes
    • Total Posts 1904

    One of the reasons I like this forum is that a little gentle ribbing does not lead to World War III and is taken with good grace, as Ian shows regularly IMO.

    non vintage
    • Total Posts 1268

    i tend to prefer female authors as a general rule, although i have to admit that i am not a massive reader, and don’t go in for pulp much.

    margaret atwood is a fantastic writer!

    • Total Posts 5859

    I don’t really mind.

    Just love reading: In the winter, I actully look forward going to bed early for a good read!

    Sad person I know.

    Regards- Matron<br>:cool:

    • Total Posts 669


    I think it is fair to say that the generation Ian and I belong to have led a very sheltered existence, drowned as we were by the new media of the late 20th century !

    I couldn’t possibly comment on whether Ian had more of a Jane Austen upbringing than a Bronte sisters one ;)

    Listening to the brilliamt MP3 audio-book version of Jane Eyre, I found the fortune-telling scene an absolute classic piece of story-telling and  Jane’s ongoing interior monologues are so powerful you would think that Jane herself  was relating the tale to your face.  It is a shame if most people  first encounter these great works in poor travesties of the original on a "box" or in the obligatory context of a prescribed school curriculum. It is a bigger shame that some of them have passed forty without having read them.:(

    • Total Posts 6939

    Fave female author? Probably Poppy Z Brite, with her seductive, atmospheric gay vampire horror novels such as Lost Souls. Wonderful stuff.


    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    The Wizard
    • Total Posts 92

    Jeremy – agree re Poppy Z Brite, with Exquisite Corpse being my favourite (by definitely not for the squeamish / faint hearted).

    Other female authors read and enjoyed lately have been:

    Mo Hayder (Birdman / The Treatment /Tokyo)<br>Karin Slaughter (Blindsighted)<br>PJ Tracy – a mother daughter writing combo (Live Bait / Want To Play)<br>Tess Gerritsen (The Surgeon)<br>Fay Weldon (Puffball)<br>Donna Tartt (The Secret History)<br>Nicci French (Land Of The Living)<br> <br>

    non vintage
    • Total Posts 1268

    The Wizard (cool avatar by the way – I had to pick it because we share a name),

    Didn’t you think that The Secret History was a novel of two halves? I absolutely loved the first half, but then they all went to the ‘party’ at the house and it seemed to lose the plot…

    Also I can’t believe they haven’t made it into a film yet – it has sarcastic dark american college flick stamped all over it!!!

    • Total Posts 379

    The Secret History – nope, sorry,  couldn’t be bothered to finish it.

    Looking round my study I find that of thousands of books I have only a handful by women, so I guess I’m bang to rights!

    Rachel Seiffert  – The Dark Room was excellent.

    AL Kennedy – Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains was a spectacular set of short stories – shame she never really trained on from there.

    Umm, struggling now!


    • Total Posts 703

    Patricia Cornwell is a good one and I’ve read Alex Kava and Tess Geritsen and Susan Hill (latter good at characters, crap at endings so far!)

    Nicci French isn’t technically a woman though. It’s Nicci Gerrard and her husband, not sure of first name, surname French. They write as a couple under the name and I do enjoy their work although the adaptation of Beneath the Skin was terrible, by all accounts the Killing Me Softly film was shockingly bad and there’s another one looming on ITV soon…..can’t get much worse!

    • Total Posts 226

    Hi Everybody

    For those of you who have been on this forum for a while, you will know that my little peculiarity is to disappear for a month or two before returning for the most shocking reappearance of all time. (pro-wrestling style!)

    This month, I’m returning to profess my love for a book which I’ve just finished reading. Written by a female author!

    No Logo – Naomi Klein

    All I can say is – if you read this book, it won’t be a waste of your precious time. It kicks ass.

    Hi Zilzal, regarding the title of this thread, do bisexuals count as ”real men”?

    Considering I once p**s
    ed Richard Johnson off, well IMHO, it doesn’t get as butch as that does it?

    Seriously though, get your eyes into the aforementioned book!

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