An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

This is the second older woman from the Middle East. Aaliya is the creation of Rabih Alameddine, who is of Lebanese origin. He writes in English. He has chosen a poignant title, for around the world older women are made to feel unnecessary. This has been going on for centuries, think of the legend of … Continue reading An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

The Woman from Tantoura by Radwa Ashour

Of all the novels I have read about older women this has aroused the strongest emotions in me. The woman, Ruqayya, 70, has held the grief of her family as well as her own suffering since she was 12. Ruqayya was born in a village that was claimed for the new state of Israel, and … Continue reading The Woman from Tantoura by Radwa Ashour

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun is the longest title in the series on older Women in fiction around the world. The novel brings you a woman of 75, living in San Francisco and of Nigerian origin. The author Sarah Ladipo Manyika was born in 1968 and raised in Nigeria. She taught English … Continue reading Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso

The African/Middle East section of older women around the world begins here, in South Africa, more specifically, in post-Apartheid South Africa. I found The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso in a list of recommended books by women of colour. It features a feud between two older women so here's a novel with not one but two … Continue reading The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso

The story so far

This is the story so far in my August sojourn among older women in fiction around the world. We are well into the month and just starting week three. In the first two weeks I have selected some fiction from North America and was gratified by the readership and comments on the posts. I moved … Continue reading The story so far

The Little Old Lady who Broke all the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg

I like the way the translated version of the title sets up a tension between the image of a biddable older woman and breaking the rules. All the best titles hold some contradictions I believe. And here is an older woman, not the stereotype of the little old lady, who is not afraid to stand … Continue reading The Little Old Lady who Broke all the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg

The Door by Magda Szabo

The third of the European novels in this August series of older women in fiction around the world is from Hungary, where the author lived between 1917 and 2007. Her work was not published during the Stalinist years. The title sets up the barrier between the narrator and the woman who lives behind the door. … Continue reading The Door by Magda Szabo

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