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Women Authors

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  1. 8.2 hrs • 7/15/2014 • Unabridged

    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century. But for the last fifty years, the novel’s celebrated author, Harper Lee, has said almost nothing on the record. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where Harper Lee, known to her friends as Nelle, has lived with her sister, Alice, for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills. It was the beginning of a long conversation—and a great friendship. In 2004, with the Lees’ blessing, Mills moved into the house next door to the sisters. She spent the next eighteen months there, sharing coffee at McDonald’s and trips to the laundromat with Nelle, feeding the ducks and going out for catfish supper with the sisters, and exploring all over lower Alabama with the Lees’ inner circle of friends. Nelle shared her love of history, literature, and the Southern way of life with Mills, as well as her keen sense of how journalism should be practiced. As the sisters decided to let Mills tell their story, Nelle helped make sure she was getting the story—and the South—right. Alice, the keeper of the Lee family history, shared the stories of their family. The Mockingbird Next Door is the story of Mills’ friendship with the Lee sisters. It is a testament to the great intelligence, sharp wit, and tremendous storytelling power of these two women, especially that of Nelle. Mills was given a rare opportunity to know Nelle Harper Lee, to be part of the Lees’ life in Alabama, and to hear them reflect on their upbringing, their corner of the Deep South, how To Kill a Mockingbird affected their lives, and why Nelle Harper Lee chose to never write another novel.

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    The Mockingbird Next Door

    8.2 hrs • 7/15/14 • Unabridged
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  2. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    9.6 hrs • 1/28/2014 • Unabridged

    A New Yorker writer revisits the seminal book of her youth—Middlemarch—and fashions a singular, involving story of how a passionate attachment to a great work of literature can shape our lives and help us to read our own histories. Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot’s Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage, and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch. The novel, which Virginia Woolf famously described as “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people,” offered Mead something that modern life and literature did not. In this wise and revealing work of biography, reportage, and memoir, Rebecca Mead leads us into the life that the book made for her, as well as the many lives the novel has led since it was written. Employing a structure that deftly mirrors that of the novel, My Life in Middlemarch takes the themes of Eliot’s masterpiece—the complexity of love, the meaning of marriage, the foundations of morality, and the drama of aspiration and failure—and brings them into our world. Offering both a fascinating reading of Eliot’s biography and an exploration of the way aspects of Mead’s life uncannily echo that of the author herself, My Life in Middlemarch is for every ardent lover of literature who cares about why we read books, and how they read us.

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    My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

    My Life in Middlemarch

    9.6 hrs • 1/28/14 • Unabridged
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  3. 0.7 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Abridged

    From her famous diaries, that she began in 1914 at the age of eleven, Anaïs Nin reads passages which reflect the recurring themes of her work. In a slow, clear, heavily accented, hypnotic voice, Nin draws the listener into her spell—binding stories of a highly personal world as she paints a vivid picture of a woman as artist and self. This is an extraordinary, historic, archival, and memorable recording which speaks in a fresh voice to new generations.

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    Essential Anaïs Nin

    0.7 hrs • 7/15/12 • Abridged
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  4. 8.5 hrs • 10/11/2011 • Unabridged

    At a time when speculative fiction seems less and less farfetched, Margaret Atwood lends her distinctive voice and singular point of view to the genre in a series of essays that brilliantly illuminates the essential truths about the modern world. This is an exploration of her relationship with the literary form we have come to know as “science fiction,” a relationship that has been lifelong, stretching from her days as a child reader in the 1940s, through her time as a graduate student at Harvard, where she worked on the Victorian ancestor of the form, and continuing as a writer and reviewer.  This book brings together her three heretofore unpublished Ellmann Lectures from 2010: “Flying Rabbits,” which begins with Atwood’s early  rabbit superhero creations, and goes on to speculate about masks, capes, weakling alter egos, and Things with Wings; “Burning Bushes,” which follows her into Victorian otherlands and beyond; and “Dire Cartographies,” which investigates Utopias and Dystopias.  In Other Worlds also includes some of Atwood’s key reviews and thoughts about the form. Among those writers discussed are Marge Piercy, Rider Haggard, Ursula Le Guin, Ishiguro, Bryher, Huxley, and Jonathan Swift. She elucidates the differences (as she sees them) between “science fiction” proper, and “speculative fiction,” as well as between “sword and sorcery/fantasy” and “slipstream fiction.” For all readers who have loved The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood, In Other Worlds is a must.

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    In Other Worlds

    8.5 hrs • 10/11/11 • Unabridged
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  5. 4.7 hrs • 10/19/2010 • Unabridged

    The literary canon is filled with intelligent, feisty, never-say-die heroines, and legendary female authors. Like today’s women, they too placed a premium on personality, spirituality, career, sisterhood, and family. When their backs were against the wall, characters like Scarlett O’Hara, Jo March, Jane Eyre, and Elizabeth Bennet fought back—sometimes with words, sometimes with gritty actions. Their commonsense decisions resonate even more powerfully in a world where women are forced to return to the basics, paring down and shoring up their resources for what lies ahead. In this compelling book of beloved heroines and the remarkable writers who created them, Erin Blakemore explores how the pluck and dignity of literary characters such as Scout Finch and Jo March can inspire women today. She divides these legendary characters into chapters that pair each with their central quality—Anne Shirley is associated with irrepressible “Happiness,” while Scarlett O’Hara personifies “Fight.” Each chapter includes insights into the authors’ lives, revealing how their own strengths informed their timeless characters. From Zora Neale Hurston to Colette, Laura Ingalls Wilder to Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen to Alice Walker, here are some of the most cherished authors and characters in literature.

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    The Heroine’s Bookshelf by Erin Blakemore

    The Heroine’s Bookshelf

    4.7 hrs • 10/19/10 • Unabridged
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  6. 11.2 hrs • 12/1/2004 • Unabridged

    This is an exuberant group portrait of four extraordinary writers—Zelda Fitzgerald, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dorothy Parker, and Edna Ferber—whose loves, lives, and literary endeavors captured the spirit of the 1920s. Marion Meade re-creates the aura of excitement, romance, and promise of the 1920s, when these literary heroines did what they wanted, said what they thought, and kicked open the door for twentieth-century women, setting a new model for every woman trying to juggle the serious issues of economic independence, political power, and sexual freedom. But Meade also brings to light the anxiety and despair that lurked beneath the nonstop partying and outrageous behavior. She describes the men who influenced them, loved them, and sometimes betrayed them. And while she describes their social and literary triumphs, she also writes movingly of the penances they paid. A vibrant mixture of literary scholarship, social history, and scandal, Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin is a rich evocation of an era that will forever intrigue and captivate us.

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    Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin by Marion Meade

    Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin

    Produced and directed by Yuri Rasovsky
    Read by Lorna Raver
    11.2 hrs • 12/1/04 • Unabridged
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  7. 11.0 hrs • 8/1/2001 • Unabridged

    Both in her personal life and in her literature, Doris Lessing broke the rules. Born in Persia and raised in Rhodesia by a hypercritical mother and a father who was shell-shocked during the First World War, she was forever in search of her essential identity. Twice married and divorced before the age of thirty, she moved to Britain with one of her children and little more than an unpublished manuscript in her suitcase. Ardently embracing communism, then feminism, she would discard them both long before their attractions faded for others. As a writer, she consistently charted new territory, most famously with the series of science fiction novels she submitted under a pseudonym. Based on numerous interviews and sources, this is a fascinating portrait of a celebrated literary rebel who continually reinvented herself and the world in her prodigious work.

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    Doris Lessing by Carole Klein

    Doris Lessing

    Produced by Cedar House Audio
    Read by Anna Fields
    11.0 hrs • 8/1/01 • Unabridged
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