In this first week of February 2013, I hereby call to order the 14th meeting of Kate’s Book Club. Every week, we shall be reading a tome either (a) penned by an author named Kate or (b) that includes a character named Kate. If you missed our last meeting, no worries—catch up at your leisure.
This week I share with you some fabulous Kate authors who we have not had the pleasure of interviewing but whose work you should definitely tack onto your “To Read” list:
Kate Chopin—The Awakening— Kate Chopin, perhaps unwittingly, became one of the mothers of the feminist movement. Although David Chopin, her grandson, claims “Kate was neither a feminist nor a suffragist, she said so. She was nonetheless a woman who took women extremely seriously. She never doubted women’s ability to be strong”. And it is this female strength that is a theme that threads through all of her works including her classic text The Awakening. While not a well received book in Chopin’s time, criticized heavily by both male and female literary contemporaries, it has since been rediscovered and embraced by the modern literary community as a bold, well-crafted piece of that suggests more creative nonfiction than fictional realism.
Kathryn Stockett—The Help—This first novel from Jackson, Mississippi native has been widely praised and read, so much so that the book was turned into a critically-acclaimed, Academy Award—winning, 2011 movie. The Help won numerous literary accolades and awards including: New York Times bestseller, Indies Choice Book Award, Townsend Prize for Fiction, and SIBA Book Award. Apparently, the book took Stockett 5 years to complete and was rejected by 60 literary agents before agent Stockett finally found representation. That big break lead to overwhelming reception of the book, which has been published in over 30 countries and 3 languages, selling more than 5 million copies.
Kate Atkinson—Behind the Scenes at the Museum—Winning the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year ahead of Salman Rushdie’s The Moor’s Last Sigh, Behind the Scenes and the Museum established Kate Atkinson as a serious author on a major platform. The book chronicles the experiences of Ruby Lennox, a girl from a middle-class English family living in York, and through her, the lives of four generations of women from Ruby’s great-grandmother Alice to Ruby’s mother’s failed dreams. This book catapulted Atkinson into international acclaim, and her succeeding books have maintained Atkinson as one of the go-to authors that readers of think of when asked about an author named Kate.
If you have any authors who you are just burning to share with us, don’t hesitate! Email me, and I’ll get them on our to-read list next club meeting. Cheers!
Kate’s Book Club is a column on Kate-book.com featuring interviews with authors named Kate, as well as reviews of books starring Kate characters. It runs on Kate-book.com every other Wednesday at 10:30am, and is written by the self-admitted bibliophile Kate E. Stephenson, who you should follow on Twitter here. Oh, and write to Kate to suggest authors and books we should read for future columns.