A Secret Sisterhood by Emily Midorikawa
The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf

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Still, now that A Secret Sisterhood is in print it will be even more difficult than ever before for critics and biographers, male or female, to dismiss, ignore or bury the friendships that literary women have enjoyed. And that’s worth cheering!
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

Male literary friendships are the stuff of legend; think Byron and Shelley, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. But the world’s best-loved female authors are usually mythologized as solitary eccentrics or isolated geniuses. Coauthors and real-life friends Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney prove this wrong, thanks to their discovery of a wealth of surprising collaborations: the friendship between Jane Austen and one of the family servants, playwright Anne Sharp; the daring feminist author Mary Taylor, who shaped the work of Charlotte Brontë; the transatlantic friendship of the seemingly aloof George Eliot and Harriet Beecher Stowe; and Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield, most often portrayed as bitter foes, but who, in fact, enjoyed a complex friendship fired by an underlying erotic charge.

Through letters and diaries that have never been published before, A Secret Sisterhood resurrects these forgotten stories of female friendships. They were sometimes scandalous and volatile, sometimes supportive and inspiring, but always—until now—tantalizingly consigned to the shadows.
 

About Emily Midorikawa

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EMILY MIDORIKAWA's work has been published in the Daily Telegraph, the Independent on Sunday, and the Times. She is a winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize and was a runner-up in the SI Leeds Literary Prize (judged by Margaret Busby) and the Yeovil Literary Prize (judged by Tracy Chevalier). She has a history degree from University College London, and is a graduate of the University of East Anglia's creative writing masters program. She now teaches at New York University-London. EMMA CLAIRE SWEENEY's work has been published in the Guardian, the Independent, andthe Times. She has won Arts Council and Royal Literary Fund Awards, and her debut novel, Owl Song at Dawn, came out to critical acclaim in 2016. Emma holds an English literature degree from the University of Cambridge, a creative writing MA from the University of East Anglia, and her Ph.D. focused on Virginia Woolf. Emma now teaches at New York University-London. MARGARET ATWOOD is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid's Tale (now a Hulu series) her novels include The Blind Assassin (winner of the Booker Prize), Alias Grace (winner of the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy), The Robber Bride, Cat's Eye, The Penelopiad, The Heart Goes Last, and Hag-Seed, a novel revisitation of Shakespeare's play The Tempest, for the Hogarth Shakespeare Project. Her latest book of short stories is Stone Mattress: Nine Tales. She is also the author of the graphic novel Angel Cat­bird (with cocreator Johnnie Christmas). Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson. Author Image 1
 
Published October 17, 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 352 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Jonah Raskin on Sep 07 2017

Still, now that A Secret Sisterhood is in print it will be even more difficult than ever before for critics and biographers, male or female, to dismiss, ignore or bury the friendships that literary women have enjoyed. And that’s worth cheering!

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