Joyce Hinnefeld


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Female Sidekicks in Fiction?

Attention Pacific Northwest readers and friends: I'll be at the Wordstock Festival in Portland, OR on Saturday, Oct. 13--reading with Lois Leveen at 2 PM, and on a panel on "literary sidekicks" with Kim Barnes and Martha Grover at 5 PM. See the Events page of my web site for details.

And readers and friends everywhere: Please help me as I try to put together some thoughts on "literary sidekicks." I'll be talking mostly about my characters Maze and Mary Elizabeth in Stranger Here Below, but I'm interested in other female characters who are friends (in novels or short stories), and particularly friendships that cross racial lines. I'm struck by the fact that I can think of all kinds of literary examples of male buddies/sidekicks, but it's harder to think of females (and hard in both cases to think of that many that cross the boundary of race). Sethe and Denver in Toni Morrison's Beloved, central characters in Alice Walker's "Advancing Luna--and Ida B. Wells," characters in Katherine Anne Porter's The Old Order. And who else? 

And why can I think immediately of female buddy films but not female buddy literary novels?

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