Saturday, 3 May 2014

Bestsellers and the women who write them

By María Camila Gamboa Ramírez (undergraduate Social Communication student, Level 4 English)

In the past, literature was a male area because men thought that women were only good for staying at home, raising the children or cooking dinner for their husbands. But what wasn’t known then was that women were learning to read and write in secret.

During the nineteenth century, women could publish their work if they used a male pseudonym. One example of that was Emily Brontë, the author of Wuthering Heights, a romantic story, which was published under the name of Ellis Bell. This changed in the twentieth century as women were allowed to publish their books with their own names. Nowadays, there are an equal number of male and female writers in society.

This means that women have an increasingly important role in literature. Actually, if a person from the past could see the present, it would surprise him to know how many bestsellers have been written by women. Have you realised this? Do you believe me? I will refresh your memory here.

My intention here is not to give a feminist perspective, but to show you the truth. Did you know that one of the most well-known novels of all time, Frankenstein, was written by a woman, whose name was Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Or who do you think wrote the magical stories about Harry Potter? Who renewed our way of seeing vampires? And who wrote the excellent futuristic stories about The Hunger Games? As if writing the stories themselves wasn’t enough, these stories have now become not just bestselling books, but also big screen sensations. And so now, these writers have become rich women.

To conclude, I think that this boom in women writers is because contemporary writers have the same rights as men. They are completely free to say how they see the world, and express their thoughts without fear. I am completely sure that this is not the end, but just the beginning. We will see more of these brilliant worlds!

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