On Self Aware Female Suffering in Fiction
The NYT’s Heroines of Self Hate
It’s as if the protagonists of these novels, faced with the choice between being their own worst enemies or men’s victims, have all chosen the former.
The New Yorker’s Has Self Awareness Gone Too Far in Fiction?
These books, so reluctant to engage with change, agency, and suffering, turn instead to awareness, which they frame as atonement.
The NYT’s Cult of the Literary Sad Woman
Just as it’s liberating to watch female sadness granted the dignity of complexity on the page — to watch it get angry, get petty, get public — it’s thrilling to witness a surge of books portraying other states of feeling entirely: female narrators contoured less by affliction and more by joy, pleasure, curiosity, surprise, delight.
Lit Hub’s Ophelia and After: Inventing the Lonely Literary Woman
The more emphasis is placed on the ability of women, and the greater the levels of competence women show themselves capable of, the greater, too, the burden of proof lies on them to show that they can do everything, and the greater the stakes if they “fail.” If women choose this self-sufficient independence, we must make our peace with giving up the right to be lonely, because to be lonely is to imply lack.
The Vulture’s Sally Rooney’s Politics of Millennial Resignation
The politics of Rooney’s worlds define her characters’ personalities and interactions, but those characters also seem fully resigned to them. There is no interest in revolt, no interest in change.