Women Literary Writers - Early to Late 1900s
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
Virginia Woolf was an English writer widely known for her most famous work Mrs. Dalloway. Woolf was a dynamic figure in the literary world of the early 20th century as her works have been described as phenomenal and intense, bordering on psychological issues such as madness and the state of the Conscious. Other famous works by Woolf include To the Lighthouse, and Orlando. She is also the author of short story collections and poetry. Sadly, aged 59, Woolf committed suicide by drowning herself, after having suffered from acute depression.
Maya Angelou (1928-)
Angelou is an American author and poet. Although she's not a literary fiction author, her poetry exudes such powerful literary themes that are enigmatic and enthralling, she cannot but be mentioned among the female influential writers of the 20th century. She is the author of several autobiographies, books of essays and poetry, and several plays and television shows. Angelou is a respected spokesperson of the black community; she has spoken in various lectures, including reciting her poetry in Bill Clinton's 1994 inauguration. Themes in her works range from race and identity to family struggles and life's rugged adventures. Her poetry is highly prolific and expressive, providing a vivid 'mind show' as one relives her life experiences through her words, or puts self in her characters' place and relives their lives and struggles. Her more popular poems include "I know Why the Caged Birds Sing" and "Still I Rise".
Toni Morrison (1931-)
An American author and professor, Toni Morrison's works are known for the very deep and spirited themes that they embody. Her famous works include Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, and Jazz (written in the late 90s). Her themes, similar to Maya Angelou's, range from race and ethnicity, to sexuality, politics, and even the fantastical. In 1987, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel Beloved (which was later adapted into film in 1998, starring Oprah Winfrey). She also co-authored a few children books with her late son Slade Morrison, and has written a number of essays and non-fiction works, as well as two plays, of which the second, Desdemona, was first performed in 2011.
...stay tuned for more amazing 20th century authors!
She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.
--Toni Morrison, Beloved
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