Sassy Lady Writers Make Me Smile…

I am kind of obsessed with exploring the lives and writing of some really cool ladies. Sylvia Plath tops that list right now and I actually have an entire Plath reading list here on the blog. I lovingly refer to this as The Plath Project. However, there are other ladies that I think are cool as hell and really interest me: Edna St. Vincent Millay, Anne Sexton, Shirley Jackson, Doris Lessing, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Dorothy Parker. It is sort of odd that some of these are poets since I am not a huge poetry fan … mostly because I understand very little about poetry in general. Anyway, I am going to be reading a biography about each of these women along with some of their work. I think Dorothy Parker may pull ahead as a favorite due to her amazing wit. Are any of these ladies among your favorites?


Anne Sexton
1928 – 1974

Zelda (and Scott)Fitzgerald 1900-1948

Zelda (and Scott)Fitzgerald

Edna St. Vincent Millay 1892-1950

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Shirley Jackson 1916-1965

Shirley Jackson

Doris Lessing 1919

Doris Lessing

Dorothy Parker 1893-1967

Dorothy Parker


Revisiting the Reading List…

Other “classics” projects that I have discovered, via the world of blogging, all seem to have set a finite number for their project. For example, some plan to read a set list of 100 or even 250 books. I purposely did not set my project reading list at a specific number. Instead, I chose for the project to remain fluid thereby allowing the project room to develop and transform as time went on. Since it is the New Year, I decided it was time to take a look at the list and make some updates.
In one of my initial posts, I indicated that certain books had not been added to the list because I had read them rather recently for various college courses: Robinson Crusoe…Daniel Defoe, The Scarlett Letter…Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emma…Jane Austen, The Red Badge of Courage…Stephen Crane, Uncle Tom’s Cabin…Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Awakening…Kate Chopin, East of Eden…John Steinbeck, and A Prayer for Owen Meany…John Irving. After further consideration, I have decided that A Wrinkle in Time…L’Engle, Gone with the Wind…Margaret Mitchell, and Revolutionary Road…Richard Yates should also have been omitted from my list. I did not read these three for any college class, but had read them before the project started in October of 2010. I had planned to post my thoughts on the three before the end of 2010, but it turns out that they would have really required a re-read for me to do them any proper justice. I will say this: both A Wrinkle in Time and Gone with the Wind are new personal favorites of mine with Revolutionary Road truly not trailing far behind. If you have the chance, read them all!
Now the question becomes…what would I like to add to my list? First, I have to say that I have become rather interested in the authors behind all of these “classic” selections. So, as a compliment to my reading I may continue to add a few selections regarding the actual authors to my list. For now, I have chosen: Sylvia Plath Method and Madness…Edward Butscher, Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Plath…Paul Alexander and Edgar Allan Poe – His Life and Legacy…Jeffrey Meyers.
By Sylvia Plath, I am also adding The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath and Collected Poems. I intend to spend a month or more of 2011 focused on Ms. Plath. I am also adding the following: Othello…Shakespeare, The Painted Veil…W. Somerset Maugham, Mrs. Dalloway…Virginia Woolf, and 18 Best Stories by Edgar Allan Poe. If my math is correct, this brings my new list to 52 selections. I will be updating the actual Reading List accordingly sometime this evening.