Here, finally, is my list of female Bildugsromane to read this year as part of the Classics Club’s Women’s Classic Literature Event 2016. I have only read the first before, and I’m reading the rest as part of my research for a chapter in the book I am writing, tentatively titled Reading Little Women: The History of an American Classic. Many of these are books for girls, but some are written more for adults.
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (1868)
Susan Coolidge, What Katy Did (1872)
Louisa May Alcott, Rose in Bloom (1876)
Kate Douglas Wiggin, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1903)
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (1908)
Gene Stratton-Porter, A Girl of the Limberlost (1909)
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1940)
Maude Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy (1940) and Betsy-Tacy and Tib (1941)
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl (1947)
Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle (1948)
H.D., HERmione (written 1927; first published 1981)
Ellen Glasgow, The Sheltered Life (1932)
Dorothy West, The Living Is Easy (1948)
Lucille Fletcher, The Daughters of Jasper Clay (1958)
Judy Blume, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970)
I would like to read one book a month, but I’ve got fifteen here. And I would like to read them in chronological order, but I will probably read The Diary of a Young Girl earlier in the year, since my daughter will be reading it in school. So this isn’t a blueprint but a starting point. The list may change as I discover new books to add to the list.
I am starting now with Little Women, reading it in the annotated edition just published by Norton. I will be meeting with some friends to discuss the first part on Jan. 22. These are all women who read the book when they were young and would like to read it again. I can’t wait to hear their stories about what they remember about the book and what the experience of reading it now is like. We’ll be meeting again in February to discuss the second half.
If you would like to read any of these books along with me or discuss them, please drop me a note. I would love to have some conversations about them.
I have created a list of Female Bildungsromane in Goodreads. Stop by and vote for your favorites, and feel free to add to the list.
Happy reading for 2016!