Oh, how I loved this book! As a woman who loves to read, I was thrilled to learn about Wild Women and Books, a collection of the most revered, notorious, honored, disparaged and worshipped female authors and rabble-rousers in history. From the first recorded writer in history (of either gender!), Enheduanna of Sumeria, to the amazing and influential authors of today, this book is a celebration of the power of the written word at the hands of women who broke through the boundaries of gender to tell their version of the truth.
This directory-style guide covers more than one hundred female authors, from Virginia Wolff to Rebecca Wells to J.K. Rowling to Agatha Christie, accompanied by illustrations, photographs and quotes that pay homage to these powerful and creative forces. Chapters are divided into categories such as “Literary First Ladies,” “Banned, Blacklisted and Arrested,” and “Mystics and Madwomen,” among others. Each explores the women who set down the creative groundwork for their generations, with facts and anecdotes sure to please any lover of books and writing and creative expression.
Knight, the author of Women of the Beat Generation, lets the achievements of these women speak for themselves, and we are inspired and amused and amazed at what these playwrights and poets and authors and artists have done. In some cases, these “ladies” (although not all would describe themselves as such) literally started cultural revolutions, led new movements of social change, and charted new ground where no woman - or man, for that matter - had gone before.
Wild Women and Books is more than just a bibliophile’s dream. It’s really a deeper examination about how women have impacted history with their expressions of truth. It goes beyond just a love of reading and writing these women represented to a deep desire to affect the world around them, and we are inspired by their courage, their creativity, and even their insanity. After all, well-behaved women rarely make history.