Sunday, October 16, 2011

4 Is Not a Crowd

A few days ago I read an interesting post here and it made me seriously ask myself the same question: What writers should I invite to my (fancy) dinner?. The tricky thing is that they have to be from different centuries, so after I struggled with a list of 10 or so writers, I decided to have a "ladies' night" with three of the most inspiring women writers. EVER.

Jeanette Winterson (21st century, born in 1959)

~ first encounter with her work: 2001
~ adopted by Pentecostal parents, she used to hide in order to be able to read books.
~ she wrote her first and probably her most talked-about novel "Oranges are not the only fruit" at 23, which she published in 1985.
~ owns an eco-shop in London, called "Verdes".
~ has just started using twitter and is about to have her first autobiography published - "Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?".
~ her best book, in my opinion: "The Passion".
Everything she writes feels enchanting and yet, utterly true and about myself :)

Anais Nin (20th century, 1903 - 1977)

~ first encounter with her work: 2002
~ probably most famous for her tumultuous affair with Henry Miller.
~ of French-Cuban origin, she also used to live by herself, although she was married, on a boat on the Seine.
~ studied psychoanalysis and briefly practiced as a lay therapist in New York; she was a patient of Carl Jung for a time as well.
~ was an obscure literary figure until 1966, when her diary in ten volumes was published.
~ her best creation (IMHO): the love letters addressed to Miller in "A Literary Passion".
Her journal is incredibly sultry and passionate.

George Sand (19th century, 1804 - 1876)

~ first encounter with her work: 1997
~ her real name was Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, later Baroness Dudevant
~ her reputation turned scandalous when she started smoking cigars, wearing men's clothing in public and all this after she had left her husband.
~ visited Venice in 1834 with her lover Alfred de Musset and stayed at Hotel Danieli, then known as "Albergo Reale".
~ fought for women's role in political life and took part in the events of June 1848 in Paris.
~ my favorite work: "Histoire de ma vie".
As Musset, her lover, said, she was "the most womanly woman."


Adam said...

Interesting choices! I like how you broke down your reasoning for each - and having a theme (like "ladie's night") is helpful. I picked three dudes - so maybe I could have called mine "Men of Minds Meeting" or something. haha

Rikki said...

OK, I have never even heard of J. Winterson, let alone read anything by her. Sounds interesting though, I must look her up.
Anais Nin I have heard about, of course, but never read anything either. Must look her up also.
George Sand is very interesting and was so progressive. I always liked her. Some time ago I (wanted to) read "Becoming George Sand" which you might want to have a look at. However, once more, this was a DNF for me.

Ally said...

@Adam: Just imagine that my next two options were Salinger and Freud... Now that would have been a crazy dinner party:)

Ally said...

@Rikki: Winterson is a must, truly! As for Nin, she had such a spectacular, nonchalant personality that it just can't go unnoticed :)