Originally published at April Boland’s blog. Thanks for sharing it with us!
Huffington Post recently published an article entitled, “These 8 Female Characters In Literature Deserve Their Own Damn Books.” Fantastic idea for an article.
“These beloved books are perhaps best known for their male narrators and protagonists. Still, we’d contend that these novels’ dynamically flawed and endlessly fascinating female supporting characters each possess depth and complexity deserving of a novel all their own.”
- Sunny from Catcher in the Rye
- Mary Lou from On the Road
- Lolita from Lolita
- Brett from The Sun Also Rises
- Penelope from The Odyssey
- Gertrude from Hamlet
- Miss Havisham from Great Expectations
- Merry from American Pastoral
Very interesting and varied choices, yet I had a pretty strong reaction to #1 – Sunny, the prostitute with a cameo in one scene (albeit a great one), deserves her own book more than Phoebe, Holden’s plucky little sister who is sharp and hilarious?
So I thought I’d make my own list. Behold:
More Female Characters Who Deserve Their Own Damn Books
- Phoebe from Catcher in the Rye
“You’d like her. I mean if you tell old Phoebe something, she knows exactly what the hell you’re talking about. I mean you can even take her anywhere with you. If you take her to a lousy movie, for instance, she knows it’s a lousy movie. If you take her to a pretty good movie, she knows it’s a pretty good movie.”
- Oryx from Oryx and Crake
Oryx is a beautiful woman with a sad past who seems to live in the background of the story, serving to cause rivalry between long-time friends Jimmy and Crake. I think there is more of her story to be heard.
- Hermione from the Harry Potter series
I’m thinking a serial graphic novel of her adventures, taking down cheeky boys like Draco and overcoming Muggle stereotypes, as well as exploring her home life and inner world, which we only briefly glimpse. What a great role model for young girls!
- Pilate from Song of Solomon
What an incredible character. While the novel is about Milkman, she represents links to the past and a special kind of wisdom and rebellion. She is his spirit guide. I would be interested to hear about her entire life, from her perspective.
- Myrna Minkoff from The Confederacy of Dunces
Seriously, who doesn’t love Myrna and her back-and-forth with the protagonist, Ignatius J. Reilly? I loved their interactions, especially when she lectures him about his sexual repression. Both of them have no sense of self-awareness and are prescriptive and bossy, but they are also just a couple of misfits finding comfort in each other.
- Mary (“Maggie”) of Magdala in Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
Mary completes the trio formed by Biff and young Jesus Christ, and she keeps them both on their toes. I would like to hear from her more than we do, and see her perspective on the whole growing-up-with-Christ scenario.
Leave a comment with the female characters you think should have their own damn books!