Daughters are firming up their previously slight lead, though shockingly, sons have made a major play for the win this time around! You go, sons! Female authors also making a major play for the title. Boats have entered the competition. Finally.
There are a ton of new ones, lots of which were sent to me ages ago and were sitting around un-gathered for a long time. If you sent me one that I’ve forgotten to post, please re-send! Thanks to Isley and Other Jessica and Lauren and Brian and Ben and probably a bunch of other people I’m forgetting! Please do keep sending!
AND IN PARTICULAR!! A million years ago, somebody sent me a photo of their grandma or aunt or great-aunt or something holding one of these books out over a kitchen table that had a placemat on it with a bunch of pictures of different kinds of breads. I don’t remember what the book was, but the photo itself was GREAT and I lost it and can’t find it anywhere in my old emails and I don’t know where I saved it. If you’re reading this, can you resend it to me? I miss it! I’ll be more careful this time!
Anywho. Some notes on the Master’s Ladies List:
There are presumably some inconsistencies and errors and it’s possible that my counts don’t actually even all add up correctly? And I think I’ve changed my mind like 8 times about whether, like, a fake book (like The Time-Traveler’s Optometrist) counts as a half-point or as nothing (I think I’m going with half-point), or whether gender-neutral possessors (like The Time-Traveler’s Optometrist) or gender-neutral possesseds (like…The Time-Traveler’s Optometrist) count as a full point or half-point or as some whole separate column (full point for the former, because it’s almost always implied to be male; whole separate for the latter, since it’s so universally almost always female that to see it gender-neutral is rare and notable and surprising). And like apparently I used to note which were memoirs/children’s books/etc, but…I stopped doing that at some point?
I’ve included a few whose titles don’t actually fit the format (no possessive-apostrophe-S, like Son of Rosemary or The Astronaut Wives Club), but only reluctantly and only if there was something else interesting with them or some other reason I wanted to include them, and I tried to note those things on the chart (with those two: because it’s so rare to see a female possessor and a male possessed, much less both in the same title, plus: it’s ROSEMARY, yo!; and because that’s such an interesting grammatical construction, and also because it’s very similar to another title [The Astronaut's Wife], which I thought was fun).
I didn’t go through and google every author’s name to check and make sure that “Barbara” wasn’t a dude, or that people weren’t writing under opposite-gendered pen names. I also didn’t go through and check the plots of these books. So in my “is the possessor a woman” column, I only said yes if the title was something like Madam Bovary’s Daughter, even though it’s entirely possible that the abortionist in The Abortionist’s Daughter might have been a woman. I’m just sexist that way.
The “gender neutral” column refers to the possessed, not the possessor, for the same reason: because it’s almost always easier to tell the gender of the possessed (and I’m lazy and I didn’t want to have read all of these to figure out whether the Senator and the Doctor and the Stranger and the Pirate and the Firemaster were men or women). But also, it is precisely BECAUSE of the sexist nature of this trope that one can generally assume that “human” = “male” and “female human” = “female,” or, in other words, “gender neutral career-haver” = “male” and “female career-haver” = “female.”
Obviously I’m not italicizing appropriately at ALL, which drives me CRAZY, but going through and italicizing everything in html would drive me crazier, so…I’m trying to deal with it.
Also, what the fuck is a Firemaster? What’s the required educational background for something like that? Is that a four-year degree type of thing?
So, uh. TL;DR: It’s possible that I’m maybe taking this all a little bit too seriously.
Check that one up there by Pushkin. Also one by Eudora Welty! I love finding old ones or classic ones or ones written by famous, respectable-type writers.
And, yeah, fine, so that last row and a half or so don’t count. (Or…maybe half-count. I really, really want to be able to count Hemmingway’s Boat. And Yesterday’s Sun! That’s really close!)
I really wanted to read B. F.’s Daughter (third from bottom, on the left), which was sent to me by someone who was all, “Oh, yeah, it was in the dollar bin; I didn’t think you’d want it.” Can I just say? That’s probably why that relationship didn’t last, you know?
This one won a National Book Award! Congrats, Furies Who Belong to a Dude!
Lah dah dahhh. Things continue to be sexist and unimaginative, dum dee dummmm.
Also, a PS which is totally unrelated to that? But I saw this book in the library the other day, and it took me a really really really long time to understand that it did NOT say “Boner Eaters,” and then even when I figured that out, I still had to stare at it for a long time to try to figure out what the heck “Boner Eapers” might be. So OBVIOUSLY of course I was going to take a photo of it to show it to you all, but then my camera was dead!! So I actually CHECKED THIS BOOK OUT just so that I could go home, take a photo of it, and share it with you.
I live to serve.
PPS – Send me more books!! I’ll be better about updating on time and properly!
PPPS – Aw, no I won’t. But send them anyway, please!