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Quotes About Women Writers

Quotes tagged as "women-writers" (showing 1-30 of 48)
Dorothy L. Sayers
“A man once asked me ... how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. "Well," said the man, "I shouldn't have expected a woman (meaning me) to have been able to make it so convincing." I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible, like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it may quite likely occur to him that women, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.”
Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

Virginia Woolf
“When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

Ahlam Mosteghanemi
“I Became a free woman when I decided to stop dreaming, freedom that is waiting for nothing .. and anticipation is a state of slavery" - Ahlam (Chaos of the Senses)”
Ahlam Mosteghanemi, فوضى الحواس

Roman Payne
“Women writers make for rewarding (and efficient) lovers. They are clever liars to fathers and husbands; yet they never hold their tongues too long, nor keep ardent typing fingers still.”
Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy

Virginia Woolf
“Women and fiction remain, so far as I am concerned, unsolved problems.”
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

Virginia Woolf
“Women have sat indoors all these millions of years, so that by this time the very walls are permeated by their creative force, which has, indeed, so overcharged the capacity of bricks and mortar that it must needs harness itself to pens and brushes and business and politics.”
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“A strong woman builds her own world. She is one who is wise enough to know that it will attract the man she will gladly share it with.”
Ellen J. Barrier, How to Trust God When All Other Resources Have Failed

Marguerite Duras
“Men like women who write, even though they don't say so. A writer is a foreign country.”
Marguerite Duras

Elizabeth Gilbert
“I was not rescued by a prince; I was the administrator of my own rescue.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

Jane Austen
“I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress.”
Jane Austen

Roman Payne
“Favoring 'resolution' the way we do, it is hard for us men to write great love stories. Why?, because we want to tell too much. We aren’t satisfied unless at the end of the story the characters are lying there, panting.”
Roman Payne

Virginia Woolf
“I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee's life of the poet. She died young--alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the crossroads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here tonight, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh.”
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

Joyce Carol Oates
“My dis-interest in what people speak of as "women's problems," "women's literature." Have women a special sensibility? No. There are individuals uniquely talented & uniquely equipped to interpret the complex symbolism of the world but they are certainly not determined by gender. The very idea is astonishing. [...] Energy, talent, vision, insight, compassion, the ability to stay with a single work for long periods of time, the ability to be faithful (to both one's writing and one's beloved)--these have nothing to do with gender. [...] The sensibility of a Virginia Woolf, for instance. It's her own, it's uniquely hers. Not because she is a "female" but because she is, or was, Virginia Woolf. Not more sensitive than Henry James or Proust or James Joyce, consequently not more "feminine" in the narrow & misleading sense people use that term today....But then I suppose critics must have something to write about. [...]”
Joyce Carol Oates

Joanna Russ
“What did we talk about?

I don't remember. We talked so hard and sat so still that I got cramps in my knee. We had too many cups of tea and then didn't want to leave the table to go to the bathroom because we didn't want to stop talking. You will think we talked of revolution but we didn't. Nor did we talk of our own souls. Nor of sewing. Nor of babies. Nor of departmental intrigue. It was political if by politics you mean the laboratory talk that characters in bad movies are perpetually trying to convey (unsuccessfully) when they Wrinkle Their Wee Brows and say (valiantly--dutifully--after all, they didn't write it) "But, Doctor, doesn't that violate Finagle's Constant?" I staggered to the bathroom, released floods of tea, and returned to the kitchen to talk. It was professional talk. It left my grey-faced and with such concentration that I began to develop a headache. We talked about Mary Ann Evans' loss of faith, about Emily Brontë's isolation, about Charlotte Brontë's blinding cloud, about the split in Virginia Woolf's head and the split in her economic condition. We talked about Lady Murasaki, who wrote in a form that no respectable man would touch, Hroswit, a little name whose plays "may perhaps amuse myself," Miss Austen, who had no more expression in society than a firescreen or a poker. They did not all write letters, write memoirs, or go on the stage. Sappho--only an ambiguous, somewhat disagreeable name. Corinna? The teacher of Pindar. Olive Schriener, growing up on the veldt, wrote on book, married happily, and ever wrote another. Kate Chopin wrote a scandalous book and never wrote another. (Jean has written nothing.). There was M-ry Sh-ll-y who wrote you know what and Ch-rl-tt- P-rk-ns G-lm-an, who wrote one superb horror study and lots of sludge (was it sludge?) and Ph-ll-s Wh--tl-y who was black and wrote eighteenth century odes (but it was the eighteenth century) and Mrs. -nn R-dcl-ff- S-thw-rth and Mrs. G--rg- Sh-ld-n and (Miss?) G--rg-tt- H-y-r and B-rb-r- C-rtl-nd and the legion of those, who writing, write not, like the dead Miss B--l-y of the poem who was seduced into bad practices (fudging her endings) and hanged herself in her garter. The sun was going down. I was blind and stiff. It's at this point that the computer (which has run amok and eaten Los Angeles) is defeated by some scientifically transcendent version of pulling the plug; the furniture stood around unknowing (though we had just pulled out the plug) and Lady, who got restless when people talked at suck length because she couldn't understand it, stuck her head out from under the couch, looking for things to herd. We had talked for six hours, from one in the afternoon until seven; I had at that moment an impression of our act of creation so strong, so sharp, so extraordinarily vivid, that I could not believe all our talking hadn't led to something more tangible--mightn't you expect at least a little blue pyramid sitting in the middle of the floor?”
Joanna Russ, On Strike Against God

Virginia Woolf
“Does it explain my astonishment the other day when Z, most humane, most modest of men, taking up some book by Rebecca West and reading a passage in it, exclaimed, 'The arrant feminist! She says that men are snobs!' The exclamation, to me so surprising - for why was Miss West an arrant feminist for making a possibly true if uncomplimentary statement about the other sex? - was not merely the cry of wounded vanity; it was a protest against some infringement of his power to believe in himself. Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.”
Virginia Woolf

Vivian Marie Feggans
“Time has a way of stripping everything that is apparent about a thing away, leaving the Perception of a thing unrecognizable. But in the process, Time bares the true essence and beauty of the thing.”
Vivian Marie Feggans, The Gathering Place: Ordinary Women; Extraordinary Lives

Azar Nafisi
“The only way to leave the circle, to stop dancing with the jailer, is to find a way to preserve one's individuality, that unique which evades description but differentiates one human being from the other.”
Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran

Valerie Martin
“She felt she had been created by the demands of others, by their insatiable appetite for something beyond ordinary life. They craved a world without death and they had spotted her, in their hunger, like wolves alert to any poor sheep that might stray from the fold and stand gazing ignorantly up at the stars.”
Valerie Martin, The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

Louise Glück
“Writing is a kind of revenge against circumstance too: bad luck, loss, pain. If you make something out of it, then you've no longer been bested by these events.”
Louise Glück

Yamini Vijendran
“His eyes were staring at the lonely sun that was now beginning its descent behind some far off hills. How lonely its existence was, Ranjan mused. Traveling every single day from East to West, with no break, no company; nothing to wait for, nothing to look forward to, just going on and on, in a cycle of existence that did not have a beginning or end.”
Yamini Vijendran, Full Circle

Murasaki Shikibu
“When my brother,…, was a young boy learning the Chinese classics, I was in the habit of listening with him and I became unusually proficient at understanding those passages that he found too difficult to grasp and memorize. Father a most learned man, was always regretting the fact: ’Just my luck!’ he would say. ’What a pity she was not born a man!’ But then I gradually realized that people were saying ’It’s bad enough when a man flaunts his Chinese learning; she will come to no good,’ and since I have avoided writing the simplest character.”
Murasaki Shikibu

Trisha Posner
“Our mothers were largely silent about what happened to them as they passed through this midlife change. But a new generation of women has already started to break the wall of silence.”
Trisha Posner

Azar Nafisi
“The only way to leave the circle, to stop dancing with the jailer, is to find a way to preserve one's individuality, that unique quality which evades description but differentiates one human being from the other.”
Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran

Joan Didion
“I dealt with it the same way I deal with everything. I just tended my own garden, didn't pay much attention, behaved—I suppose—deviously. I mean I didn't actually let too many people know what I was doing.”
Joan Didion

Virginia Woolf
“Life for both sexes - and I looked at them, shouldering their way along the pavement - is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion, it calls for confidence in oneself. Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle. And how can we generate this imponderable quality, which is yet so invaluable, most quickly? By thinking that other people are inferior to oneself. By feeling that one has some innate superiority - it may be wealth, or rank, a straight nose, or the portrait of a grandfather by Romney - for there is no end to the pathetic devices of the human imagination - over other people.”
Virginia Woolf

Patricia Duncker
“They were from different generations, culture, nations. But even these things did not divide them so much as their separate conceptions of what it meant to be a woman.”
Patricia Duncker

Lydie Salvayre
“Ce que j'aimais sans mesure chez ces sept femmes (lesquelles ayant pris le risque de vivre sans prudence ne purent éviter celui d'en souffrir) c'était leur puissance poétique, c'était la grâce de leur écriture, c'était le retournement qu'elles opéraient sur les forces de mort et leur pouvoir de conjuguer l'oeuvre avec l'existence, c'était le bouleversement qu'elles provoquaient en moi et le surcroît de vie qu'elles ne cessaient depuis longtemps de m'insuffler.”
Lydie Salvayre

Megan Mayhew Bergman
“Maybe the world had been bad to its great and unusual women. Maybe there wasn’t a worthy place for the female hero to live out her golden years, to be celebrated as the men had been celebrated, to take from that celebration what she needed to survive.”
Megan Mayhew Bergman, Almost Famous Women: Stories

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