Time to talk about another 5 fantastic authors that I categorize under Transgressive Fiction according to their style and themes, how they use the power of writing to transgress the norms of their society and culture. Today we will talk about Elizabeth Wurtzel, Janet Fitch, Susanna Kaysen, Penelope Lively, Emma Donoghue.
(July 31, 1967 – January 7, 2020)
Elizabeth Lee Wurtzel was an American writer and journalist, known for the confessional memoir Prozac Nation, which she published at the age of 27. Her work often focused on chronicling her personal struggles with depression, addiction, career, and relationships. Wurtzel's work drove a boom in confessional writing and the personal memoir genre during the 1990s, and she was viewed as a voice of Generation X. In later life, Wurtzel worked briefly as an attorney before her death from breast cancer. (source)
That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful. ― Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
Janet Fitch is most famously known as the author of the Oprah's Book Club novel White Oleander, which became a film in 2002. Fitch was born in Los Angeles, a third-generation native, and grew up in a family of voracious readers. As an undergraduate at Reed College, Fitch had decided to become a historian, attracted to its powerful narratives, the scope of events, the colossal personalities, and the potency and breadth of its themes. But when she won a student exchange to Keele University in England, where her passion for Russian history led her, she awoke in the middle of the night on her twenty-first birthday with the revelation she wanted to write fiction. (source) Two of her favorite authors are Fyodor Dostoevsky and Edgar Allan Poe. (Ibid.) Her third novel, Paint It Black, named after the Rolling Stones song of the same name, was published in September 2006. Amber Tamblyn directed a 2016 feature film based on the book. (source)In the Revolution of Marina M.: A Novel, she "captures the epic grandeur of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, situating her characters in the pages of authentic history. Yet she also infuses her protagonists with transgressive sexual energy...vividly portraying Marina's sexual awakenings as she falls in and out of love... Readers of Tolstoy, Boris Pasternak, and Margaret Mitchell will thrill to this narrative of women in love during the cataclysm of war." (source)
“It's such a liability to love another person.” ― Janet Fitch, White Oleander
Susanna Kaysen is an American author, best known for her 1993 memoir Girl, Interrupted. This book is a best-selling (source) 1993 memoir by American author Susanna Kaysen, relating her experiences as a young woman in an American psychiatric hospital in the 1960s after being diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder. While writing the novel Far Afield, Kaysen began to recall her almost two years at McLean Hospital. (source)
Suicide is a form of murder - premeditated murder. It isn't something you do the first time you think of doing it. It takes getting used to. And you need the means, the opportunity, the motive. A successful suicide demands good organization and a cool head, both of which are usually incompatible with the suicidal state of mind. ― Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted
Dame Penelope Margaret Lively is a British writer of fiction for both children and adults. Lively has won both the Booker Prize (Moon Tiger, 1987) and the Carnegie Medal for British children's books (The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, 1973). Lively's first novel for adults, The Road to Lichfield, was published in 1977 and made the shortlist for the Booker Prize. (source) As with all of Lively's fiction, Moon Tiger is marked by Narrative Transgression regarding the power of memory, the impact of the past upon the present, and the tensions between "official" and personal histories. Besides novels and short stories, Lively has also written radio and television scripts, presented a radio program, and contributed reviews and articles to various newspapers and journals.
It seems to me that anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd. ― Penelope Lively
Emma Donoghue is an Irish award-winning novelist, screenwriter, and playwright, living in Canada. Set in Dublin during the Great Flu pandemic in 1918 (and written before COVID-19), her novel The Pull of the Stars (2020) is about a nurse-midwife, a doctor, and a volunteer helper living through three days in a maternity quarantine ward. Her novel Room(2010) was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes and has sold over two million copies and made it into a movie in 2015. The story is about a young woman who has been held captive for seven years and whose five-year-old son was born in captivity.
People don't always want to be with people. It gets tiring. ― Emma Donoghue, Room
Check the links below if you're interested to know more about female transgressive authors.