edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
1979 • 206 pages • DAW Books
Reading editor Jessica Amanda Salmonson’s introduction to Amazons!, the first major fantasy anthology featuring female protagonists, is a strange experience for the modern feminist-minded geek. On the one hand, I find few things as heartening (or heartwinning, as Salmonson puts it in the introduction to T. J. Morgan’s “Woman of the White Waste”) as discovering new-to-me texts that prove speculative fiction has not always been the (white, straight, cis) boys’ club people inside the genre and out often assume it is. On the other hand, it’s less heartening to realize that we’ve been having largely the same conversations about diversity and representation for decades. I’m no less motivated to fight the good fight, of course, but it makes for some bittersweet reading.
Emphasis on the sweet, though. I mean, it’s an entire anthology of lady-centric fantasy from the dying days of disco, topped off by a list of nonfiction and fiction books deemed relevant for people interested in that subject matter. And if you’re not interested—well, I think you’re on quite the wrong blog, friend.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
All I know about Wuthering Heights comes from watching Noel Fielding’s performance of Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” on Let’s Dance for Comic Relief over and over again. (I have extraordinarily specific tastes.) I wasn’t a particularly well-read child, as we’ve discussed, but that came with a blessing—I apparently missed the formative experience of reading Wuthering Heights as a teenager, finding it swooningly romantic, and then realizing, as an adult, how messed up Cathy and Heathcliff’s relationship was. A bullet dodged, but dodged at the expense of experiencing the novel. At some point during research for my Jane Eyre thesis, I determined that I would finally catch up with the rest of the women in my department and read Wuthering Heights. It took me my entire winter break, but I did it.
It’s the depth of winter here where I live right now … what books do you like to read when it’s snowy and white? What books do you read to evoke a real feeling of winter (good or bad)?
Well, it may be winter in Georgia, but that just means that it is wet and even occasionally cold. We’ve had a couple days where it’s been warm recently, so I’ve never really experienced a winter that’s snowy and white.
I’m also beyond awful at seasonal reading; I never read anything at the right time. However, I did just finish up Wuthering Heights, and doing that in the midst of several overcast, drizzly, cold days was a delightful way to finish that off.