Why women’s stories are so engaging

“I deem as heroic those who have the harder task, face it unflinchingly and live. In this world women do that.”

—James Salter

How can I not love this quote by American novelist and short story writer James Salter (1925-2015)?

I’ve always been a great reader, and grew up reading all the (mostly male-authored) classics. But now that I am free to read as I choose (outside of work, at least), I find myself increasingly drawn to women’s stories. Or, if you will, so-called women’s fiction.

Reading the comments of others, I see women’s fiction can often be seen as a loaded term, but I don’t agree. I don’t see women’s fiction as “less-than” fiction. Women are the majority of writers and the overwhelming majority of readers and I, for one, enjoy literature following their journeys.

I read widely, but I find that good women’s fiction, following a journey in the life of a female protagonist, often makes for insightful and inspiring reading.

So yes, I find myself enthusiastically nodding along with James Salter. How can I not be drawn to the stories of women who often have the harder task, yet still face it unflinchingly and simply live? Here’s to celebrating women’s stories!


  1. evelyneholingue on May 31, 2018 at 12:35 am

    Since the first time you mentioned reading women’s literature to support women authors, I’ve discovered so many who are now among my very favorites writers. In fact I have not read a novel written by a man in a very long time. Except John Green, who writes for girls after all 🙂
    I also like this James Salter!

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