Though a carefully plotted romance, thriller, or mystery can accurately capture women’s lives, the more difficult to define genre of literary fiction is often where meaning is sussed out from the everyday. Day-to-day life and fantastical journeys are not in competition — one is not necessarily “better” than the other — but it depends on what one is looking for in their reading experience. Oftentimes, when we see elements of ourselves reflected on the page, we can better empathize with others. Here are three books that explore the lives of women, each in their own way.
You know a book is good if you only stop reading so that you can tell the author, at 1 a.m.via Facebook, how much you are enjoying it. The evening I began reading it, I’d plans to watch Doctor Who, which, if you know me, is serious business. I thought I would read a little, then turn on the TV. No, I kept reading. Let it be known: Gregory Spatz’s new story collection, Half as Happy, is a wonderfully gratifying little book.
In a tiny village in Poland, a young man begins his courtship of a beautiful girl named Anielica by renovating her family’s home. In the city of Krakow, a young woman known as “Baba Yaga” ponders what to do with her life next. For the first couple of chapters of A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True, by Brigid Pasulka, I had no idea how these two stories would connect or coincide. After all, the story of Anielica takes place in the years before World War II. Baba Yaga is wandering around a Krakow that has just been liberated from Communism. But for those first couple of chapters when I was kept in the dark, I sometimes forgot to stop and wonder about the characters’ connection. Pages were flying too quickly and I was too wrapped up in the intricate, entrancing story unfolding before me.
This year’s Middlemarch Madness is already stacking up to be twice as intense as last year’s. Special thanks to all our brand newbies for jumping right in! The more nominations we collect, the more fun we’ll have on Friday when we narrow each category down to 16 contenders. Read More Middlemarch Madness II: Last Chance to Nominate!