Saturday, May 28, 2022

Eight novels of wonder and darkness by women writers

Born and raised in Virginia, Ashleigh Bell Pedersen holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Pedersen’s fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, and New Stories from the South, and has been shortlisted for a Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories. Her short story “Crocodile” won the 2020 Masters Review Flash Fiction Contest.

Pedersen's new novel is The Crocodile Bride.

At Electric Lit she tagged eight of her favorite magical novels by women writers, including:
Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe is set in the world of the Greek gods, and tells the story of our heroine’s journey from her upbringing as the daughter of narcissistic Helios and Perse, to her life as an exiled sorceress. It explores themes of love, connection, family, and solitude—to name a few—but what I found most moving of all was this novel’s exploration of mortality through the lens of immortality. So much of Circe’s journey is about her relationship, not to magic, but to the ordinary aspects of life that magic cannot touch. It is a stunning read, one I think about often.
Read about the other entries on the list at Electric Lit.

Circe is among Kelly Barnhill's eight books about women's rage, Sascha Rothchild's most captivating literary antiheroes, Rachel Kapelke-Dale's eleven top unexpected thrillers about female rage, Kat Sarfas's thirteen enchanted reads for spooky season, Fire Lyte's nine current classics in magic and covens and spellsElodie Harper's six top novels set in the ancient world, Kiran Millwood Hargrave's seven best books about islands, Zen Cho's six SFF titles about gods and pantheons, Jennifer Saint's ten top books inspired by Greek myth, Adrienne Westenfeld's fifteen feminist books that will inspire, enrage, & educate you, Ali Benjamin's top ten classic stories retold, Lucile Scott's eight books about hexing the patriarchy, E. Foley and B. Coates's top ten goddesses in fiction, Jordan Ifueko's five fantasy titles driven by traumatic family bonds, Eleanor Porter's top ten books about witch-hunts, Emily B. Martin's six stunning fantasies for nature lovers, Allison Pataki's top six books that feature strong female voices, Pam Grossman's thirteen stories about strong women with magical powers, Kris Waldherr's nine top books inspired by mythology, Katharine Duckett's eight novels that reexamine literature from the margins, and Steph Posts's thirteen top novels set in the world of myth.

--Marshal Zeringue