»No question, the world of Dick Francis’s novels is still very much a masculine one, and his heroes embody many of the qualities that define conventional manliness. But their struggles to live up to or redefine them complement the work of women writers and characters to revise the dominant narratives of femininity. Power, autonomy, and humanity are not zero-sum games, but in crime fiction it has been easier (or at least more common) to make that case from the demand side.«
Female Characters in Crime Fiction: A worth reading essay by Rohan Maitzen about women in a Dick Francis novels. Read more at the Los Angeles Reviews of Books.
»Women’s credibility in court is still judged on their sexual history. (…) When Hilary Mantel read Apple Tree Yard she said it’s about the fine line that women tread and the price you pay for stepping over it. The price you pay for being extreme.«
Helen Brown talks to author Louise Doughty about her psychological thriller Apple Tree Yard and the double standards still applied to women. Read more at The Telegraph.
»In Sophie Hannah’s The Other Woman’s House, Tana French’s Broken Harbor, Mo Hayder’s Gone, and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the danger appears to come from a husband. In Megan Abbott’s Dare Me, set in the hothouse adolescent world of competitive cheerleading, it comes from another girl. In other books, it’s an entire culture—California’s porn movie industry in Christa Faust’s Money Shot, the Arab world in Zoë Ferraris’s City of Veils, the diseased American heartland in Hoffman’s So Much Pretty.«
Fictional women use stealth, subterfuge, and hand-to-hand combat to fight back in a man’s world. Elizabeth Hand’s worth reading essay about Femininjas you will find at the Boston Review and at Salon.