Writing from the perspective of the opposite gender is not an easy task for anyone. Somehow great writers separate themselves from the rest with this innate ability to see things from both sides in ways that are brilliant in their simplicity. It truly is a gutsy endeavour to; basically, hypothesize how a member of the opposite sex would react to one situation let alone an entire narrative. Every detail must be considered, researched, and, in essence, felt in ways completely different from what comes naturally. Some of my favorite books have been written by men, tales told through the eyes of a female protagonist, but the narratives that really intrigue me are written by female authors with male protagonists. Below are some of my favorites.
1) Room by Emma Donoghue
One of my favorite novels in years is told through eyes of a five-year-old boy trapped in a prison-like room with his mother. A literary triumph that stands alone and is one of the riskiest novels written in a long time.
2) Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel
Mantel had to write not only about a man, but an important figure in history. Truly an accomplishment, which was highlighted by winning the Man Booker prize in 2009.
3) The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon
Shortlisted for every Canadian literary award under the sun and winning the 2009 Roger’s Writers Trust Fiction Prize, The Golden Mean looks at life of Aristotle as he attempts to tutor young Alexander.
4) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
A classic in the purest sense, this book needs no introduction. The tragic figure of Victor Frankenstein is presented with all his flaws and emotions out there for all to see and, most of all, experience with him.
5) Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
A moving story told through the eyes of Olympic hopeful Jean Patrick Nkuba in the time before and during the Rwandan genocide. Jean inevitably is forced to leave the woman he loves behind and escape the madness.
6) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
The Duchess of Death, The Queen of Mystery, The Baroness of…Butchery(?) need I say more?
7) Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
A semi-modern classic from a Pulitzer prize winning novelist about a trouble man named Ethan and his potentially disastrous (hint hint) love of another woman.
8) Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch
Shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker prize, this novel has one of those indescribably special airs about it. The journey of Jaf (our hero) will have you riveted.
9) The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
You know her. You most likely know Harry Roark her main character. You’ve most likely read this masterpiece.
10) Getting the Girl by Susan Juby
Susan Juby is hilarious and so is Sherman, her protagonist and detective in training. This is a great book about the high school experience and everything that comes along with it.
Have I missed any of your favourites?
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Next Wednesday, @shanparsons is going to follow up with a list of the Top 10 Female Narratives by Male Authors, so if you have suggestions let her know!