Six Women Who Used Their Literature To Defy Critics

Sometimes people forget how much of an impact Literature can have on our society. I thought I’d take a look at some historical and modern figures who used their work to completely stick their fingers up at those who criticised them and tried to tell them that the world just doesn’t work that way. All these women helped change the world in one way or another.

Jane Austen:

Women used to always write under pseudonyms, Jane Austen was one of the first women to openly publish as one, determined to prove women could write more than light novels. While Austen published under anonymity her alias ‘A. Lady’, in my opinion, hammered the point home just as well. Austen stuck it to everyone of that time who said women couldn’t write ‘serious literary works’.

Malorie Blackman:

I’m sure my preconceptions were not the only one’s brought into question by her work. She’s best known for her ‘Noughts And Crosses’ series, if you aren’t familiar, the roles for black and white people are switched. I can remember, even now, after reading her books, that she made me realize that in England we only sell plasters for white people. I honestly think it’s something that wouldn’t occurred to me to this day had I not read Blackman’s work. It sounds like a small thing but I really don’t think it is.

Jacqueline Wilson:

Wilson has quite a few incidents of sticking her work up the nose of her critics, she’s been at the forefront of changing the way we look at realistic Children’s literature since 1991. However, my absolute favourite was her reaction to a critic who claimed The Illustrated Mum was one of the ‘worst books ever written’, because the protagonist sisters have two different fathers. Wilson’s reaction; to write The ‘Diamond Girls’, a novel that tells the story of five siblings, all with different fathers.

Anna Sewell:

Now this is a bit of a cheat, as Anna wasn’t criticized for her work once it was published, but it very much defied the grain of thinking at time of writing. ‘Black Beauty’ still holds the title as one of the best-selling books ever gone to print. It shook the way people perceived and treated animals, so much so that ‘bearing rein’ was abolished in the UK. I’m pretty sure (as I can’t find any evidence to the contrary), that this book was the first of it’s kind, being told from a horses’ perspective. If nothing else, it’s certainly renowned as having the longest lasting legacy for the animal rights movement.

J.K. Rowling:

I couldn’t miss her off this list if I wanted. Fact of the matter is she changed not only the publication industry but culture as we know it now. All I need to really say on this is her first rejection from publishers said ‘Children’s books don’t sell.’ Oh hindsight, you hilarious minx.

Anne Frank:

The youngest, and yet the bravest, author on this list Anne’s work is still widely read, not only a disturbing reminder of racial persecution, but also a bittersweet story of innocence in the face of adversity. Unfortunately, Anne’s work didn’t have the opportunity to shine until it was much too late to help anyone in the disaster they got caught up in, however a work like hers will never be forgotten. Her memory is the best way she stuck it up the arss of those trying to oppress her, because they will be remembered for horrific murder, whereas she will be remembered as one of the bravest writers ever.

This is just a start, there are so many authors out there who are rattling the bars of the socially acceptable, despite those who insist on standing around and doing nothing but telling them to ‘stop that’. Let me know who else you think deserves to be on this list?

2 Thoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s