Tuesday, 16 August 2016
The Regulars Blog Tour: Georgia Clark on her top three feminists in fiction
For more information about Georgia see the bottom of the post.
Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
“Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel… It is narrow-minded to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.” You tell ‘em Jane! We don’t need no pudding piano parties! The resilient and articulate Jane paved the way for women rejecting stifling gender ideals way back in 1847. Resisting the subordination encouraged by the sexist dudes around her, Jane stuck to her guns and only married Old Blindy (aka Mr Rochester) after it was certain to be a marriage of equals. You go girl.
Jo March, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Some 20 years later, the feminist canon birthed one of the greatest feisty ladies to grace the printed page, Miss Jo March. A writer and a fighter, outspoken Jo was clearly the most dynamic of the four March sisters, and was a torch song for independent ladies everywhere. When she wasn’t turning down marriage proposals or chopping off her long hair, in anticipation of the short-haired flapper revolution still decades away, Jo was exorcising her demons through her writing. “I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle--something heroic, or wonderful--that won't be forgotten after I'm dead.” You’re not forgotten Jo: we celebrate you.
Hermione Granger, Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling.
Fast forward a few centuries and we welcome to the stage the newest young lady to take the feminist crown. She’s precocious, she’s brave, she’s a know-it-all and she loves a good textbook. She is Hermione Granger, simply the most compelling character in the Potterverse. Played by one of society’s most brilliant IRL feminists, Emma Watson, Hermione was delightfully fierce and beautifully flawed, and Harry could not have survived without her. Continuing in her progressive tradition, Hermione is portrayed by black actress Noma Dumezweni in the West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (a move supported by both JK Rowling and Emma, natch). Hats off to Hermione!
Tell us about the inspiration behind your book.
Where do messages about beauty find us, how do they affect us, how do different women respond to these messages differently. What is beauty? How does a modern feminist reconcile her own empowerment with very real feelings of physical inadequacy? These thoughts and more were bubbling in the back of my brain when one night, inspiration struck. I was at home alone, working on the edits to my YA sci-fi novel, Parched, when a concept popped in my head. A serum. That turns you pretty: objectively, definitively. But only for a week at a time. ‘Hm’, I thought, putting my notes aside. ‘That’s interesting’. Less than a minute later, a scene began playing in my head, as crystal clear as a feature film. Three young women. A tiny bottle of Pretty, something from a modern fairytale. An impossible transformation, as visceral and gross as it was funny and unexpected. Someone comes home: ah, an excuse is needed! What next? Who knows… As soon as the scene stopped playing – a gift from on high, a missive from the muse – I knew, without a doubt, that was a novel. A year and a half later, I finished The Regulars.
Georgia Clark is an author, screenwriter and journalist who is widely published in women’s and lifestyle magazines, and writes for TV. She is enthusiastically vegetarian, proudly queer, definitely a city-dweller, a long-time lover and supporter of the arts and an advocate for the empowerment of young women.
You can follow her at Twitter/ Instagram @georgialouclark
Sign up to her mailing list on her website georgiaclark.com
Or like her author page on Facebook
The Regulars is available from all good bookshops as well as online retailers such as Amazon.