Back in 2012 or so I started a classics club project, which was focused on reading 50 classics in 5 years. I finished that project on August 1, 2015, and did a recap where I noted that 42% of the books read were women authors.
Around the same time, I started seeing posts and discussions and tweets and what not about reading women authors. I’ve always read women authors, but both of these things combined to make me more aware of my reading habits. At around the same time, again, I started seeing publishers taking long out of print books and getting them back into print, at least as e-books.
This is a place to keep track of my now lengthy reading “project” to read vintage women authors. This includes classics – Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Elizabeth Gaskell – but it also includes authors of older popular fiction, suspense and romance – Mary Stewart, Helen Macinnes, Phyllis Whitney – as well as middlebrow, wartime (WWI and WWII) and interwar women writers – D.E. Stevenson, Angela Thirkell, Elizabeth Fair. And not to forget women who wrote YA and MG fiction, such as Madeleine L’Engle, Eleanor Estes and Edith Nesbit. Finally, women have written some of the best mystery fiction of their various times: Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Patricia Wentworth, Anna Katherine Green, and more recently, Ruth Rendell and P.D. James.
We think of the literary canon as including a disproportionate number of dead white guys. As a place to start, I’ve compiled a list of 101 classic (i.e., dead) women authors whom I intend to read over the next five years, which I’m calling the 101 Dead Women project. In addition, I’ve seen other bloggers doing “Century Project” where they read one book from each year of the twentieth century, which I will adapt by only reading women. In order to up the difficulty, I’m not going to overlap the two projects. Each book will only count for one project.
This is a work in progress. I have a lot of content on the blog I am abandoning that I will be migrating over here, so there may be posts that were published on a previous blog.
But, welcome to All The Vintage Ladies!