On the “Novelty” of Strong Women


For the Guardian, Hannah Ellis-Peterson discusses the success of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist. Since its debut this summer, the author’s first novel has received acclaim for its strong female characters. However, Burton has since expressed frustration over the perception of “strong women” in fiction as a “novelty”:

I’ve always struggled with this notion of a ‘strong female’, because all the females I know in my life are strong, and it’s a term that suggests that by default they would be weak and they are extra-special as a result. Very few male novelists get asked: ‘You’ve put some really strong males in your book, why is that?’

Jake Slovis earned his MFA in Writing from Rutgers University, where he now teaches English Composition. He is a second-generation Argentine American and has spent significant time living and writing in Buenos Aires. He currently resides in Brooklyn. More from this author →