Help me drag my uncle out of the literary dark ages!
July 29, 2009 4:04 PM Subscribe
My uncle recently mentioned to me that he's never read any book written by a woman. Apparently this is because he doesn't think they'll be any good - he seems to think women can only write romance novels. I find this both horrific and hard to believe, but he seemed serious. So, Hive Mind, I need your help in drafting a list of the very best books written by female authors. Help me teach him the error of his ways!
posted by badmoonrising to writing & language (92 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
I've checked out a few previous questions, but I am somewhat hampered in my list-making by the fact that many of the obvious classics (and most of the books that sprang to my mind) are books that I think he will not enjoy, e.g. the works of the Brontë sisters or Jane Austen, or even Toni Morrison.
Specifically, he likes crime novels and thrillers, and fast-paced storylines without too many descriptive passages. (Or, as he put it, books "where it doesn't take the author three pages to describe a table.") So suggestions vaguely along those lines would be especially appreciated. I immediately suggested Agatha Christie and Patricia Cornwall to him, but crime is not generally my preferred genre so I'm having trouble coming up with much else.
The books do not have to be thrillers, but I suspect he will abandon anything too romance/family-orientated. So no Pride and Prejudice or The Thorn Birds, please. We're coming up with a list for a rather conservative, old-fashioned, golf- and rugby-loving Englishman in his late sixties. (So no Tipping the Velvet either!)
So, AskMeFites, please fire away!
(Also, I'm well aware of how sexist and misogynistic my uncle may seem, and I'm not interested in hearing any commentary on that, thank you. I myself want to batter him over the head with something heavy until he sees the error of his ways, but he IS family and I love the guy. So if I can rein in my violent urges, then I hope AskMeFi can too.)