Writers have always been an integral part of any civil society in spite of Plato’s rejection of their place. Yes, they do play the imitation game and sometimes inspire it as well. However, what they bring to the society cannot be ignored altogether. Pleasant leisure and sometimes the anguished sequence of events and sometimes even the controversies. Today, I am going to look into the world of female writers and will choose my top 5 women writers of all time (writing in English). My list is purely the result of my own interpretation and my personal perusals. It is not affected by any external influences like most of the liberals believe the US Presidential elections to be affected by the Russians.
One – Jane Austen:
On my list of top female writers of all time, there are no other women going to be except one and only Jane Austen. The undisputed queen of wit and humour and a princess of the classic courtship games, Austen has entertained an entire era and she continues to do so even centuries after and I am sure she will be reigning like this only. Her novels sell the most even today. A reader who did not read Austen did not read literary fiction at all! Pride and Prejudice by her is the favourite of many readers and some also love other pieces of fiction by her.
Two – Charlotte Bronte:
The charming Jane must be in the heart of many people even today. Poor Rochester (though some make him look like a monster in their ‘critical’ works) still echoes in our minds. And other than Jane Eyre, there are many other books by Charlotte which still are being appreciated and read by millions of readers. However, this one novel, Jane Eyre, made her immortal and she is my second favourite any day!
Three – Agatha Christie:
Well, she was a textual detective – no doubts! Who can ever forget her grand creation called Hercule Poirot? More than 60 novels and all of them somewhat managing to remain in the buzz throughout… Agatha is a reigning champion among the women who are called suspense writers or the writers of detective novels… and who else is her match that you have last read? She is my 3rd favourite every time I will make any list like this!
Four – Emily Bronte:
When you might have started reading serious fiction, your friend, your teacher or even your parents might have advised you – do read Emily’s Wuthering Heights. Was it like this only, in your case? Well, mine was the same. My professor Mr N. K. Dar advised me or rather insisted me. I obeyed. It was an amazing experience and I could see why Emily is the darling of the fiction readers of various interests. Her only complete novel Wuthering Heights has everything in it, for every curiosity that you might have… Even on my list which includes only men, I will argue a place for her because I don’t want to miss her anywhere fiction writing is discussed!
Five – Sylvia Plath:
Her poetry has that painful mesmerism about it. If you are a serious lover of poetry, you will experience what I often experience with her writings. A kind of restlessness finds its perfect wordly embodiment and we have beautiful poetry for our pleasure at the cost of the poetess’ pain which she bore for longer than one could tolerate. Between her and Ted, I would pick Sylvia’s poetry any morning! She completes my list of top five female literary figures of all times (writing in English).
By this list, I don’t mean to offend anyone. As I mentioned, this is purely personal preference. You might love the one I love or you might have another one for you. Though I would surely love to know your opinions.
by Alok Mishra