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The Goldmine of Female Authors

“Welcome to Backlisted. The podcast that gives new life to old books.”

A couple years ago, I was at a party where there happen to be a few booksellers and publishers. In my desire to be sociable, I tried to engage them in conversation about some of the books I’d recently read. They were unwavering in their arrogance toward every book I mentioned. I asked them what the last play was they’d read only to be greeted with silence. I soon found people more interesting to talk to.

I realized their arrogance was based in part on the fact that they could afford to buy first run books. I, on the other hand, get most of my books from libraries and used books stores. Class access strikes again!

So, it was with great delight I found a most enjoyable and unpretentious book podcast out of England. In this podcast, they talk about old and affordable books.

Booksellers and publishers, John Mitchinson and Andy Miller -- both Gen Xers like myself -- discuss with great wit and fanboy enthusiasm lesser-known books by well-known authors and great books by lesser-known authors. Those lesser known authors are, for the most part, not surprisingly, women. The podcast brings to light, with great conviction, lesser known female authors who were over looked in their time.

Before this podcast I had either never heard of or read much of the following authors:

Jean Rhys, Nancy Mitford, Nella Larsen, Shirley Hazzard, Sylvia Townsend Warne, Barbara Comyns, Stevie Smith, Jane Gardam, Anita Loos, Muriel Spark, Shirley Jackson, Diana Wynne Jones, Hilary Mantel, and my new favorite - Anita Brookner.

Brookner has a wry detached articulation with language that takes me right into the painful and funny solitude of her characters. I admire her ability to build a sentence or idea in such a surprising way - at once sardonic, at once heartbreaking. I never would have read her if it weren’t for this podcast.

To ignite your intellectual curiosity and have a lot of fun doing it, I encourage you to give this podcast a listen. You will soon be ravenously reading. Also, Nancy Pearl has been a guest and loves the show. Praise, indeed.

Backlisted Podcast -

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