Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Women in words

Women24's Book Club editor, Tammy February, wrote an article about her top 10 literary heroines (characters, not authors). Go and read it, see what you think.

My picks are a little different, given that I'm not the philosophical type; I'm a guardian. Is it any wonder, then, that the women to whom I'm drawn are proectors before anything else? My comment below:

The first heroine that springs to mind is Eve Dallas from JD Robb's (Nora Roberts) eponymous futuristic crime series. Eve is tough, uncompromising, and committed to seeing that justice prevails, but she's not above bending the law here and there to achieve what's right - if not before the law. She's fiercely loyal, a broken old soul who survived horrific abuse, and completely unable to be "girly" - the situations in which her friends are "going girl" are amongst the funniest I've ever read! My true attraction to this guardian of the victim, though, is that she sees her place in the world as being the voice of the voiceless - the voice of those who can't speak anymore, who have had their voices cruelly taken from them. She's Batman without the cape (and the drama).

I also love Esmerelda Weatherwax from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Fierce, proud, someone who does not suffer fools gladly, Granny Weatherwax is a witch who knows her "dooty" is to take care of those weaker than herself - which is pretty much every average Discworlder. The way she uses "headology" to give people what they need - not necessarily what they want - and her biting commentary on just about every foolishness of political correctness, social mores and frippery, are music to my soul. Besides, she's the only person who's ever scolded Death and lived to tell the tale.

There's Polgara, from David and Leigh Eddings' Belgariad, the sorceress whose immortality and great power have led her to protecting and guarding her sister's children through tens of generations, selflessly giving up her own chances at happiness century after century to ensure that the heir to the kingdom survives, guiding, nurturing and - like Tita - weaving her heart, soul, and a touch of her magic into everything she cooks.

My heroines are mainly guardians or nurturers, and I don't think it's a stretch to put Hermione into that category, too. Apart from her brains, wit and prowess at all things nerdy, Hermione also looks after Harry and Ron, and does her best to keep either them, or their hearts, safe. And she's a scrappy little fighter, too! Put Ginny in there, too - although she's more of a fighter than a brain, she's not without intelligence of her own!

What do you think? Who are your heroines?

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