Happy Friday readers! It's women's history month. Here at Sword & Silk we are about about celebrating stories of women persevering against the odds, forging their own destinies, and celebrating themselves. And we do so thanks to the women who trailblazed the world of publishing before us. This month, on Friday's we shall be spotlighting an author or two you might not see on many of the 'women who shaped literature of the 20th Century' but whose influence has nevertheless contributed to literary world in such ways the ripple effects of their work are still moving through literature today.
The Authors Who Shaped Us
We've already celebrated a few of the authors on the blog who shaped not only modern literature but were pioneers in the field. Authors who unintentionally or very much intentionally broke boundaries and paved the way for authors today through their words and stories. This is far, far from an exhaustive list but here are some noteworthy names to look into.
The mother of science fiction, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein as a challenge among her peers and trailblazed the genre of science fiction as a result. By exploring the beyond the boundaries of 'what is possible' against the current advancements in science of her time, she created an immortal tale and explored what makes us human.
Speaking of trail blazers, Toni Morrison wove incredible tales and inspired generations of authors with her powerful work. She beat down barriers as a black woman in the publishing industry and created an astounding body of work that entwined her personal experience with the history of the country.
Christie incredible body of work is still oft read and relevant today. One of the largest names in mystery, Agatha Christie slammed her way into the genre and carved out her niche with memorable characters and stories. She could be considered one of the forbears of the cozy mystery, as the wonderful Miss Marple is a character emulated in many of today's cozy mysteries.
Butler not only broke boundaries of race, gender, and class, but fluidly melded genres. Her work in science fiction busted down all kinds of barriers, and she is one of the first authors in the genre to receive the MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the Genius Grant for incredible work.
Emma, Lizzy, Elinor: Jane Austen's collection of romance stands the test of time. An author with a sharp mind and sharp wit, her stories became cornerstones of the modern romance genre, and her social commentary on her peers of the day is unmatched.
Considered one of the first recorded women authors, Sappho's poetry is still celebrated today, and noted for its gay themes. The author behind the term Sapphic literature, this Greek Poetess was celebrated in her day, even praised by Plato and while not much is known of her life, her stamp on literature in undeniable.