Readers are shifting focus from outdated gender expectations and conceptions of identity, and as a result, complex, non-compartmentalized female friendships are blooming in fiction. Books about these friendships are spaces for female writers and readers to explore the complexity of their relationships and selves without the influence of men, whose presence can quickly turn a female character into a label (mother, daughter, lover, keeper) and distract from the potentially subversive nature of female-only friendships....more
Posts Tagged: female friendship
There’s a piece of writing advice that tritely insists that great pain makes for great writing. In reality, it often takes years to find the words for a painful event, and even then there is the nagging insufficiency of words and the threat of ego that comes with writing one’s own pain....more
The literary idea that friends’ lives represent unmade choices, roads not taken, is applicable across gender and genre. Naturally, however, it has a particular resonance for women, because so many of life’s choices have particular resonance for women. Whether in 2015 United States or in postwar, pre-feminist Italy, women still feel like they have to lean in the direction of either family or career, creative fulfillment or economic necessity.
At The New Yorker, Anna Holmes writes about how “Girls” and Sheila Heti’s new novel How Should a Person Be? “treat heterosexual coupling as secondary, and how they depict the profundity of female friendships, not to mention their real perils—which are quite different from the competitive jockeying that is so often imagined.”
Holmes proposes that these texts may signify “the beginnings, perhaps, of a revolution in the way women’s relationships are discussed.”...more