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Old 08-10-2012, 01:57 PM
 
Location: PA (work in NJ)
6,455 posts, read 8,166,267 times
Reputation: 12663
Default Books written by Men that you'd swear were written by Women

I'm in the middle of Rules of Civility by Amor Towles,and I'm enjoying it. I read a lot of the reviews on Amazon and elswhere, and even though there are people who like and dislike the writer's style, they all seem to agree that the male author really has achieved a woman's voice. I agree. As I read this book, the story is so clearly from a woman's point of view, it's hard to believe a man wrote it.

This reminded me of two other books written by men, with a female central character/narrator, that seem that they could only have been written by a woman.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
and
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

What other books have you read that fall into this category? What is it about these males authors that made them so able to convey the female "voice" or point of view? Does it just mean that they are good writers, or is it something special about the author? Are there any books in which a male author tried unsuccessfully to capture the feminine voice, and it ended up being a work clearly written by a man?
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:22 PM
 
2,629 posts, read 2,545,459 times
Reputation: 3158
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides comes to mind. I think a fascination with female-ness as opposed to femininity or other culturally serving reductions is a key to resonant truth. Female authors by that token will every bit as often fall into trappings too.

Another example, if we extend to adult audience comic books, is Love and Rockets by the Hernandez Brothers. Maggie and Hopey were gorgeously well rounded characters. They were a convincing real life couple too, and I remember reading that a young lesbian fan of the comics was disgusted to discover they were written by men. Suddenly she conjured the writers as lascivious masturbators over their own creations. That response is far more tawdry, and immature. Audiences can fall into self-serving reductions too.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:13 PM
 
1,780 posts, read 1,809,856 times
Reputation: 2088
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
I'm in the middle of Rules of Civility by Amor Towles,and I'm enjoying it. I read a lot of the reviews on Amazon and elswhere, and even though there are people who like and dislike the writer's style, they all seem to agree that the male author really has achieved a woman's voice. I agree. As I read this book, the story is so clearly from a woman's point of view, it's hard to believe a man wrote it.

This reminded me of two other books written by men, with a female central character/narrator, that seem that they could only have been written by a woman.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
and
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

What other books have you read that fall into this category? What is it about these males authors that made them so able to convey the female "voice" or point of view? Does it just mean that they are good writers, or is it something special about the author? Are there any books in which a male author tried unsuccessfully to capture the feminine voice, and it ended up being a work clearly written by a man?
Those two books came to mind as soon as I saw this thread, LOL
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:24 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal
12,274 posts, read 12,017,317 times
Reputation: 15830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakeneko View Post
Those two books came to mind as soon as I saw this thread, LOL
Funny... those are the ONLY two books that came to mind as soon as I saw this thread.

Even though I've been pushing Rules of Civility a bit recently, I didn't even think of that one. The one that stands out the clearest to me is Memoirs of a Geisha. In fact, when I suggest that someone read it, that's the first reason that I give -- he writes so well in a woman's voice... and that it is his first novel.
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:07 AM
 
Location: Atlanta & NYC
6,629 posts, read 5,479,824 times
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Anything by Nicholas Sparks (I think he's the Notebook guy).
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:58 AM
 
1,491 posts, read 3,280,416 times
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That was my first thought.....Sparks.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:03 AM
 
Location: So Ca
5,159 posts, read 4,936,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Good suggestions. For some reason, Lamb's book has stayed with me, even though I read it at least 8-9 years ago. What a strange novel. How he could have so clearly and accurately depicted emotions from a female's point of view, I don't know.
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