The other day I saw a great post that made me stop and think. It was a call for books about women that have absolutely nothing to do with romance. I was absolutely shocked by how long it took me to come up with a only handful of books.
Think about it, how many can you think of off the top of your head? No young crush, no heartbreak leading to self-discovery, no casual dating, try to think of books that have no love in them at all. It's way tougher than it should be.
The opposite doesn't seem to be true at all. I can think of a dozen books about men that don't involve romance. There are coming-of-age stories, thrillers, mysteries, and classics like Moby Dick and Heart of Darkness. There are so many! But when you hold up the same criteria for books with a woman protagonist, the options are scarce.
I understand that love: having it, losing it, trying to find it, etc. can make a great story. But women are complex and there are a lot of stories to tell about them that don't include love.
Here are the books that I finally came up with and honestly there's a couple that I think are questionable.
The Whale Rider, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Flavia de Luce series, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Kinsey Milhone series, The Handmaid’s Tale, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Still Alice, Wild, The Eyre Affair, Emily of New Moon, The Optimist's Daughter, The Thirteenth Tale, The Likeness, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, True Grit, Little Bee
What books could you add to the list?
Added suggestions from you guys: Nervous Conditions, Code Name Verity, Dolores Claiborne, The Gathering, The Year of the Flood, The Invention of Wings, We Were Liar, Silver Sparrow, Matilda, Vanessa Michael Monroe series, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Nightingale, Alice in Wonderland, Room, A Little Princess, Station Eleven, The Just City, and Gray Mountain.
Lovely painting by Jacquelyn Bischak from here.