Can you name 10 Women Writers Who Changed Literature?


April 11, 2012
Victorian_woman_at_writing-1
Test your knowledge!

(List by Encyclopedia
Britannica in celebration
of Women’s History Month)

 

 

 

1. Russian poet – Died in 1966, considered the greatest women poet of Russian literature.

2. English writer – Born in 1882 who wrote novels known for non-linear approaches to narrative. Also wrote essays about the politics of power.

3. English writer – presented a comedy of manners in 18th century middle-class life showing ordinary people.

4. This French writer’s best novels are remarkable for vividly evoking the sounds, smells, tastes, textures, and colors of her world. She died in 1954.
5. Identify this leading American 19th century female poet who lived in seclusion but commanded a brilliance of style and an integrity of vision.
6. Identify the famous ancient Greek lyric poet who has been greatly admired for the beauty of her writing style.
7. The American writer, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Pulitzer prize, and other awards, is known for her examination of the black female experience.
8. Can you name the Canadian short-story writer gained who international recognition with her exquisitely drawn stories, usually set in southwestern Ontario, peopled by characters of Scotch-Irish stock?
9. Do you know this American folklorist and writer, whose work celebrated the African American culture of the rural South.
10. She wrote the Tale of Genji, which is generally considered to be greatest work of Japanese literature and thought to be the world’s oldest full novel.

Answers:

1. Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) At her death, the Russian poet was considered the greatest woman poet in the history of Russian literature.
A land not mine, still
forever memorable,
the waters of its ocean
chill and fresh.
Sand on the bottom whiter than chalk,
and the air drunk, like wine,
late sun lays bare
the rosy limbs of the pinetrees.
Sunset in the ethereal waves:
I cannot tell if the day
is ending, or the world, or if
the secret of secrets is inside me again
A land not mine 1964 (Translated by Jane Kenyon)

 

2. Virginia Woolf - (1882-1941): The English writer’s novels, through their non-linear approaches to narrative, exerted a major influence on the genre. While she is best known for her novels, especially Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927), Woolf also wrote pioneering essays on artistic theory, literary history, women’s writing, and the politics of power.

 

 

3. Jane Austen - Who hasn’t heard of Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice? The English writer first gave the novel its distinctly modern character through her treatment of ordinary people in everyday life, creating the comedy of manners of middle-class life in the England of her time in her novels.

 

 

4. Colette (1873-1954): The French writer’s best novels are remarkable for their command of sensual description. Her greatest strength as a writer is an exact sensory evocation of sounds, smells, tastes, textures, and colors of her world.

 

 

 

5. Emily Dickinson (1830-86) The American lyric poet lived in seclusion and commanded a singular brilliance of style and integrity of vision. With Walt Whitman, Dickinson is widely considered to be one of the two leading 19th century American poets.

 

 

 

 

6. Sappho (610-570 BCE): The Greek lyric poet has been greatly admired in all ages for the beauty of her writing style. She ranks with Archilochus and Alcaeus, among Greek poets, for her ability to impress readers with a lively sense of her personality.

 

7.  Toni Morrison (born 1931): The American writer, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature, is noted for her examination of black experience (particularly black female experience) within the black community. Her Beloved (1987), based on the true story of a runaway slave who, at the point of recapture, kills her infant daughter in order to spare her a life of slavery, won a Pulitzer.

 

8. Alice Munro (born 1931): The Canadian short-story writer gained international recognition with her exquisitely drawn stories, usually set in southwestern Ontario, peopled by characters of Scotch-Irish stock. Munro’s work is noted for its precise imagery and narrative style, which is at once lyrical, compelling, economical, and intense, revealing the depth and complexities in the emotional lives of ordinary individuals.

 

9. Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960): The American folklorist and writer, whose work celebrated the African American culture of the rural South, was associated with the Harlem Renaissance.

 

10. Murasaki Shikibu (978-1014): The Japanese writer’s Genji monogatari (The Tale of Genji) is generally considered the greatest work of Japanese literature and thought to be the world’s oldest full novel.