There are people who are less visible in our world, less visible than white, middle-aged males or beautiful young people. We need to see images, read books, watch plays and films about the less visible to understand their experiences. Fiction allows us to enter other lives and other worlds that we might not otherwise understand.
The Bookword series focusing on older women in fiction began after I attended a course about growing older and examples of older women in fiction seemed hard to bring to mind. I began to seek out and review fiction about older women. To date there have been 18 reviews and 3 associated posts. I have been able to see which posts attract most readers since I changed some things on my blog.
The five most read posts on older women in fiction
These are the five most read posts, with links.
- Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor explores some of the painful and amusing aspects of being older and neglected by family. A key word might be dignity.
2. Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. I loved the respectful portrait of Maud who is becoming increasingly confused. There is much humour in this book, but not at her expense. It does reveal the confusion and debility of cognitive decline. And it raises important issues about family and intergenerational care for people with dementia.
3. The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence, A Canadian novel, telling the story of Hagar Shipley resisting the consequences of her family’s attempts to do what they believe is best for her as she ages
4. Mrs Dalloway is Ageing. This post focused on a rereading of Mrs Dalloway, exploring the theme of ageing in Virginia Woolf’s novel. There is, of course, so much more to find there.
5. A Passage to India by EM Forster. The portrait of Mrs Moore is one of the many attractions of this classic novel. Mrs Moore infuses the action long after she departed.
Over to you
There is a fine list of nearly 50 titles of fiction relating to older women compiled with the help of readers. Add to the list!
Does the most read list surprise you? Which book would recommend for the top five stories of women ageing? Is it included in the Bookword list?
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