Reading is a vintage exercise… and people have been indulging in this act for centuries. Pre-historic love for reading can be seen on the walls of caves, in the thoughts of great people, and by the standard of literature, we still have to exhibit. In this opinion article, I will tell why reading women novelists can open doors to new worlds of perspectives and thoughts (including emotions as well). Well, we cannot read all women novelists just because they are women. We need to find some connection, some worth, some appeal and some demeanour in literary art as well.
So, let’s begin with the introductory arguments. Indulging in the enchanting prose of women novelists offers a trove of treasures waiting to be discovered. These brilliant wordsmiths, with perspectives that the world would witness with enchantment, with their deft strokes of insight, provide a gateway to understanding that transcends the boundaries of gender, enriching the lives of all who embark upon their literary journeys. Within the delicate tapestry of their narratives, female novelists fearlessly navigate the labyrinthine landscapes of human relationships, exploiting the opportunities of forging an intimate connection between reader and text, illuminating the intricacies of human connection, the boundless nuances of identity, the formidable weight of societal expectations, and the indomitable spirit of personal metamorphosis. Do you see how much you can have once you start reading novels written by women? And that leads to something amazing. By immersing ourselves in their boundless artistry, we are transported to uncharted realms, guided by perspectives untamed, challenging the very foundations upon which our preconceived notions rest, and bestowing upon us a more profound comprehension of the human experience. Are you sure you are not convinced? Let’s have more!
Novelists like Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Margaret Atwood, Charlottë Bronte, Sally Rooney, and many more are there with their writings. With millions of copies published and millions of readers have enjoyed these works of literature, the world is yet to explore many more women novelists who have just begun on their paths to literary redemption. The resounding voices of women novelists breathe life into the literary panorama, awakening dormant corners of our collective consciousness in various walks of life – education, politics, literature, relationships, corporate, government, and much more. From the confines of the margin, these visionary luminaries cast aside the shackles of conformity, blazing trails that defy convention and embolden us to question the established order. Well, we cannot be sure about the intentions and agenda behind every work of literature by women novelists. However, at least, they have a direction to follow; they have a code of conduct; they have a plan to execute… and above all, they have something to offer! Their unfiltered narratives, untethered from the constraints of tradition, expand the horizons of our imagination, beckoning us to traverse uncharted territory, and igniting a fire within our hearts that yearns for liberation from the shackles of narrow-mindedness. Through the harmonious chorus of their voices, we encounter a mosaic of perspectives, illuminating the vast mosaic of the human tapestry, and weaving a majestic symphony that resonates with the core of our shared humanity. Sometimes, the voices are implicit, tacitly conveying too much to understand. At times, the voices are more than vocal and pinching the souls of readers to awaken to the highlighted situation.
Furthermore, engaging with the works of women novelists becomes an act of redress, correcting the historical imbalances that have marred the literary tapestry. Who can forget the struggle that Virginia Woolf began with her works, her speeches, her diary entries and her imagination? The participation of women in literature may be new, however, for the English world, it was not the case with women who produced literature in India. Though it will always remain a paradox for me to unravel! The West which boasts of knowledge and an unlimited horizon of literary consciousness, could not give an equal playing field to their women who were meritorious and charged with literary dexterity. Women like Meera Bai, Lopamudra, Avvaiyar, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, Toru Dutt, Mahadevi Verma… and many others, have left their mark on the growth of Indian literature in various languages.
In the West, nevertheless, after figures like Woolf and Sylvia Plath, Dickinson and Mary Shelley, Atwood and J. K. Rowling, women have taken the world of literature by storm. Many women are producing their literary works and also the press is showing unprecedented interest in their works. These trailblazers, despite their formidable contributions, have often been consigned to the periphery, eclipsed by the towering figures of the male-dominated canon. By actively embracing their voices, we reclaim the stolen narratives, breathing life into the silent echoes of the past, ensuring that the echoes of their brilliance resound through the ages. In championing gender equity within the realm of literature, we can sow the seeds of inclusivity, nurturing a literary ecosystem that thrives on the multifaceted brilliance of all voices by reading the literature by women, at the least.
Above all, immersing ourselves in the kaleidoscopic worlds crafted by women novelists is an intoxicating elixir of delight. Harry Potter is a testimony to the resounding imagination that women can weave. Atwood’s historical literature is an example of literary prowess when it meets the scholarship of history. Across the vast expanse of literary landscapes, we encounter an array of captivating talents, their luminous prose casting spells that transport us to realms of wonder and introspection. The voices from the African content and the Caribbean island are perfect examples of that. Within the realms of their creation, we encounter resolute heroines, vibrant characters who leave an indelible imprint upon our hearts, and themes that unravel the mysteries of existence. In this harmonious dance between reader and writer, we find not only solace but also illumination, for their narratives unravel the enigmas that lie within the human soul and beyond our perception’s limits!
To end this monologue in favour of women novelists, let me say something in the end. The joys and rewards of reading women novelists are manifold. And I hope, by now, you must have understood their struggles in achieving what they have achieved and what they are destined to achieve in the coming future. In their words, we discover a wellspring of insight that transcends the boundaries of gender, cultivating a richer tapestry of understanding. Their distinct perspectives herald a renaissance, challenging the confines of convention and broadening our vistas of comprehension. And there should be no debates about it! Through their artistry, we remedy the historical injustices that have obscured their brilliance, and in doing so, foster a literary landscape that blooms with inclusivity. So, let us embrace the enchanting narratives woven by our beloved women novelists, for in their tales lies a boundless realm of enrichment, awaiting those with the courage to embark on this extraordinary odyssey. All the best, guys! Have some good literary hours!
By Ashish for Featured Author
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