Posts tagged female writers.

It is not just Mowgli who was raised by a couple of wolves; any child is raised by a couple of grown-ups.

From “An Unread Book,” Randall Jarrell’s 1965 introduction to Christina Stead’s The Man who Loved Children, a family novel unlike any other.


“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ―Sylvia Plath

I was a terrible believer in things, but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn’t know where to put my faith, or if there was such a place, or even precisely what the word faith meant, in all of its complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.

Cheryl Strayed, in her memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.


“I must not forget, I thought, that I have been happy, that I am being happier than one can be. But I forgot, I’ve always forgotten.” —from NEAR TO THE WILD HEART by Clarice Lispector

I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your undumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it. And yet I believe you’ll be sensible of a little gap. But you’d clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it should lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is really just a squeal of pain.

Love letter by Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf, January 21st, 1927.

I thought that since I was better, my therapy should end soon. I was impatient, and I wondered: How did therapy come to an end? I had other questions too: for instance, How much longer would I continue to need all my strength just to take myself from one day to the next? There was no answer to that one. There would be no end to therapy, either, or I would not be the one who chose to end it.

Lydia Davis, from the short story “Therapy” in her collection Break it Down.