Articles

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

Tove Jansson was a Finnish writer, and will be familiar to readers of children’s fiction as the creator of the Moomins. They appeared in books and cartoons and then newspapers, eventually in 12 countries. They were so successful that Walt Disney wanted to acquire them. He was turned down. Tove Jansson was much more than … Continue reading The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

The Lady and the Little Fox Fur by Violette Leduc

This is the first in the European section of the month of older women in fiction around the world. Recommended by Deborah Levy, introducing this English version, she characterises the novels of Violette Leduc as works of genius and also a bit peculiar. She claims that Leduc was ‘rearranging the social and sexual scaffolding of … Continue reading The Lady and the Little Fox Fur by Violette Leduc

Older Women in Translation

This month I have been invited to focus on older women in fiction around the world. But there is a problem as there is so little in translation. So what’s the problem? Well, I’ll use the acronym: WYSIWYG pronounced whizzywig.  It stands for what you see is what you get. When it is applied to … Continue reading Older Women in Translation

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Yours Sincerely, Giraffe

Did you have a pen pal when you were little? Maybe someone from halfway around the world, whom you’d never seen, from a land you knew nothing about? That’s the premise of Yours Sincerely, Giraffe, a sweet, zany chapter book for ages 6-10, with charming illustrations by award-winning artist Jun Takabatake (Bologna Children’s Book Fair Graphics … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Yours Sincerely, Giraffe

World Languages Review: Op de rand van het zwijgen (The Netherlands)

On the verge of silence  Although we live in a society full of means of communication that are hardly ever shut off – modern mankind finds itself still having difficulties and misunderstandings in simple person-to-person conversations. We talk in images that are clear to us, but frequently incomprehensible to those we are talking to. When … Continue reading World Languages Review: Op de rand van het zwijgen (The Netherlands)

Eleanor and Abel by Annette Sanford

The Older Women in Fiction around the world begins with fiction from North America. This is a choice from a writer friend of mine. Like many writers she is a reader and her choice continues the theme of older women who thwart expectations. Another former schoolteacher, like Olive Kitteridge, Eleanor Bannister might be expected to … Continue reading Eleanor and Abel by Annette Sanford

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Loneliness in old age. It’s the biggest killer. An old woman has an idea about how to deal with it, especially at night when it hurts most. She approaches an acquaintance, Louis Waters with an unusual proposition and they begin a friendship with unexpected consequences for them both. This is the fourth post in the … Continue reading Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

In this first week of older women in fiction around the world I am exploring some fiction from Canada and the USA. My fourth choice of North American older women in fiction is recent and very engaging. All four show older women who others might label as difficult. None of them is a gentle old … Continue reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Two Old Women by Velma Wallis

My second choice in this section of older women in northern America comes from the Yukon, and is a retelling of an ancient legend celebrating the resilience, fortitude and wisdom of the two old women of the title:  Two Old Women In its retelling Velma Wallis draws on the complaints one hears about older people … Continue reading Two Old Women by Velma Wallis

The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence

Here is the first book in the August series of Women in Fiction around the world on this blog. I began exploring this theme six years ago. I challenged my blog readers to find me some examples of strongly drawn older female characters. This was the first response Hagar Shipley, from The Stone Angel by Canadian … Continue reading The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence