Thursday, September 13, 2012

Women's Lit -- Suggestions?

So I'm teaching a Women's Lit class next semester. I've got some ideas for texts to teach, but I'm looking for suggestions -- y'all tell me: if you were teaching a class called Women's Lit and you could teach any books (fiction, non-fic, plays, poetry, whatever!) what would you put on the reading list?

In actual fact, I am probably going to be limited to about eight books. And the list I have already compiled is already too long.

Still! Give me suggestions!

I am especially interested in books outside the box, btw. I have already thought of the obvious -- Room of One's Own and Herland and all that. Give me some rockin titles!

Update: Here's the list I have already -- but it's very tentative! As in I want a lot of suggestions, because I'm not at all happy with this list!

Women’s Literature Possible Reading List

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own

Christina Rosetti, “Goblin Market.”

Shulasmith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex

Larsen, Nella. Passing

Jacobs, Harriet. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Davis, Rebecca Harding. Life in the Iron Mills

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland

Butler, Octavia. Bloodchild.

Kingston, Maxine. The Woman Warrior.

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaiden’s Tale

Bujold, Ethan of Athos

Joanna Russ, The Female Man

LeGuin short stories

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Bardiac said...

Aphra Behn, Oroonoko! Great for talking about female writers as such, also colonial issues, trans-Atlantic issues, race, slavery, trade.

Marie de France, Lanval or some of her other Lais, just really fun reading and great to teach. Readily available in a reasonably priced prose translation.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading Edith Wharton. You can see why she and Henry James were buds. "Age of Innocence" and "The Buccaneers" describe why and how the daughters of American robber barons married a sinking English aristocracy and why it mattered what Consuelo Vanderbilt was wearing. These women played an amazing kind of mind-screwing role in pre-WWI history.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, it's me with the Edith Wharton. Forgot to sign off. --L

jo(e) said...

Bone Black by bell hooks. It's a small book so you can squeeze it in with a bunch of other books, but she has a lot to say. It's a memoir that stirs up lots of discussions.

Jennifer said...

Not sure of the scope of the class, but if you want to throw in some sci-fi, I recommend Kameron Hurley's God's War and Infidel. It's set on a rough world and deals with atypical gender roles, but as part of the world building. It's interesting to see how the world influences the characters. I think you can find excerpts of it online if you're interested.

Some Girl said...

Just.... please don't make them read The Awakening. As a English major feminist, I had to read that accursed book more than 10 times in various classes. Everyone makes you read it. Everyone. THERE ARE SO MANY BETTER BOOKS. Just because the theme was uncommon at the time doesn't make it the seminal feminist book of all time. CAN WE ALL AGREE THERE ARE BETTER BOOKS. Haha, sorry, I just hate The Awakening with a fiery passion.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers would be a lovely choice, as would anything by Lee Smith.

delagar said...

Ooo, good suggestions, y'all!

I never would have thought of Marie de France, though I loved her in grad school. OR Aphra Behn.

And I wanted some bell hooks, but I've never read any, so I wouldn't know which -- thanks, jo(e)!

And I *was* going to use The Awakening (probably), just because it's one of THOSE books. Thanks for the tip!

L -- which Wharton would you suggest? That's also a big hole in my education.

delagar said...

Oh, and Jennifer -- I *am* doing (a lot of) SF. I hadn't considered Hurley, since I haven't read it yet. But I'm off to have a look!

Anonymous said...

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Though these might already be on your list. Please share the items on your list. I'm sure there's a lot that I haven't read yet!