In recent years, something has kept catching my eye. Maybe because it is relevant to me personally. It’s one little word: wife.
I started noticing the word “wife” on many covers of popular fiction books: A Reliable Wife, The Tiger’s Wife, Ahab’s Wife, American Wife, Wife 22, Husband and Wife, The Inquisitor’s Wife, The Lost Wife, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The 19th Wife, The Zookeeper’s Wife, The Aviator’s Wife, The Paris Wife. Really, it seems endemic. And so I started wondering: why are people writing about wives? What do these books have to say about wives, or about being a wife? And did you notice that most of these titles include a possessive noun before “wife”? What’s up with that?!
So I’m thrilled to announce Literary Wives, a series in which we’ll discuss four of these books about wives. I’m going to be linking up with three other fantastic book bloggers and wives—Emily, Angela, and Audra—to bring you a new review on a “wife” book each month. In particular, we’ll answer these questions:
1. What does this book say about wives or about the experience of being a wife?
2. In what way does this woman define “wife”—or in what way is she defined by “wife”?
During the month of April, we’re reading American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. We’ll review it on our blogs on Friday, May 3.
During May, we’ll read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, to be reviewed on June 1.
In June, we’ll read A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick in time to review it on July 1.
In the month of July we’ll read The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin and discuss it on August 1.
We’d really love for this virtual book club to extend beyond our own blogs—that means, if this sounds like a good idea to you, feel free to join us in reading these books, review them on your own blog if you have one, and comment with us. May 1 is two and a half weeks away, so you have plenty of time to read American Wife with us. If this goes well, we’ll probably extend the series to other “wife” books. If you have any book in particular in mind, let us know and we’ll add it to the list!
Meet the bloggers:
Angela is a a composition and literature teacher, editor, writer, voracious reader, home schooling mom and recovering academic (said only half-jokingly) who has never truly given herself permission to live her life’s dream of writing. Until now.
Audra of Unabridged Chick
Audra is a 30-something married lesbian with a thing for literary fiction and historical novels. An Air Force brat, Audra’s love of reading was nurtured by her family’s numerous national and international moves, and her family encouraged her reading of historical novels to learn more about the places they were stationed. (She still turns to historical fiction before any trip!) Audra studied anthropology and geography as an undergrad, and she’s most taken with novels that address the stickier side of history, place, and society as well as the roles of women from royals to riffraff. Professionally, Audra has worked in the non-profit sector for the last ten years.
Ariel of One Little Library
Yours truly! Ariel is an editor who will soon be trading her freelancing days for the life of an in-house editorial assistant at Corwin Press. A literature enthusiast, she likes heroines full of gumption and conflicts fraught with ethical dilemmas. Her favorite book is and always will be Jane Eyre.
Emily of The Bookshelf of Emily J.
Emily is a Ph.D. student studying professional communication who has worked as an editor and a composition instructor. She is the mother of two little girls and loves chocolate and ice cream. The thing she wants most right now is a day in bed with a good book, preferably fiction.
Can’t wait to link up with everyone starting on May 3! Happy reading!