Why this book?
In Writing a Woman’s Life, the critic Carolyn G. Heilbrun (and witty detective writer Amanda Cross), argues that there are four ways to write a woman’s life. The woman may tell it herself in an autobiography; she may tell it in fiction; a biographer might write her biography in her place; and most exciting and perplexing: the woman may “write” her own life before actually living it, unconsciously, as the author herself did. All resist the conventional expectations about women’s destinies.
The book shows how much we don’t know about women’s lives and how important it is to discover their true stories. I decided to embrace the metaphor and begin to write my own life. Carolyn herself was my life-altering friend and mentor.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
In this modern classic, Carolyn G. Heilbrun builds an eloquent argument demonstrating that writers conform all too often to society's expectations of what women should be like at the expense of the truth of the female experience. Drawing on the careers of celebrated authors including Virginia Woolf, George Sand, and Dorothy Sayers, Heilbrun illustrates the struggle these writers undertook in both work and life to break away from traditional "male" scripts for women's roles.