books with realistic female characters?
March 30, 2014 3:50 AM Subscribe
I am tired of novels that have an enigmatic woman at the center of the novel. Can you recommend some books to me where all of the female characters actually act like real people?
posted by colfax to Writing & Language (57 answers total) 117 users marked this as a favorite
I have started reading fiction again after a long hiatus, and I keep running into the same problem: in a beautifully written book about all sorts of interesting people, there is one female character who is crucial to the plot and who makes no sense. She's usually incredibly beautiful; the male narrator, or the main male character, is usually obsessed with her; and it seems to me that she isn't written like a real person, she's written as the embodiment of: "women are beautiful enigmatic creatures who are impossible to understand." Sometimes, as an added bonus, she's evil without any explanation for why: she just is.
I am a woman myself, and it really bugs me when a woman who is central to the story seems more like a cliche than a real person. Can you recommend some fiction books to me where all of the characters, male and female, are written like real people? I don't care about genre particularly, although I'm not a big fan of science fiction (I do like fantasy though). I also don't care if the author is male or female. The last four books I started (and couldn't finish because I got so annoyed by this enigmatic-lady business) were: "The Idiot," by Dostoesky, "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck, "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss, and "Norwegian Wood" by Harumi Murakami. The last books that I finished and enjoyed were "Gaudy Night" by Dorothy Sayers and "A Plague of Doves" by Louise Edrich. Thanks for your help.