TSP Staff Picks: Fiction About You-Know-What Subject

by margaret on November 20, 2008

THE OBVIOUS choice of sister fiction is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, the standard about sisters Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth March’s daily experiences as young women in the late nineteenth century. Also predictable, but more up to date: Think Rebecca Wells’s Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, perhaps, or The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the four-book young-adult series by Ann Brashares. At TSP, though, we sisters hate to be simply obvious. Here are some of our staff picks:

FROM ANASTASIA SMITH OF ‘CLAIMING SISTERHOOD’

•BEEZUS AND RAMONA, by BEVERLY CLEARY As a part of a series about the commonly misunderstood antics of Ramona Quimby, this young-adult novel portrays the comic (and constant) ruckus that 4-year-old Ramona causes in her older sister’s life. [click to continue…]

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SOMETIMES WE wonder why sisters behave badly toward one another, and then quickly remember that the reason they do so is because they simply haven’t read enough literature.

Jane Austen

Haven’t they read Austen (portrayed by her sister at left)? Have they utterly forgotten their Bronte? When sisters squabble, we send them into the stacks. Forget therapy, and adopt the therapeutic motto: What would EB do? EB? Elizabeth Bennett, of course, that cool head of Pride and Prejudice, sister to two wacky and one hopelessly beautiful sister, daughter to a positively unforgivable mother, and a loving but somewhat hapless father, manages to find the kind of steadfast love we would all like to have. [click to continue…]

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TODAY CLASSICAL MUSIC is blessed with the talents of many musical sisters—sisters with backgrounds as diverse as their instruments.  But long before ensembles like the Ahn Trio (above) or the Kavafian Sisters took center stage (long before their members were even born), French sisters Nadia and Lili Boulanger changed the Parisian music scene. [click to continue…]

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THE AUSTENS, the Brontes, Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay. What do these women have in common? Other than being fine writers, each has a sister who was the great woman behind her success.

Cassandra Austen

Cassandra Austen

Jane Austen

Jane Austen

For Cassandra (1773-1845) and Jane Austen (1775-1817), the only girls of eight siblings, it seems predestined that they would become one another’s best friend and confidante. What is less obvious is why Cassandra, at age 70, burned Jane’s letters, leaving some people with the odd impression that Jane was bland or worse, retiring.

As any sister will tell you, a sister–especially one with some age on her side–protects a sister, and despite the fact that we might like to never forgive the act of the bonfire, we understand the intent. It was Jane, after all, who once said of herself, “If I am a wild beast, I cannot help it.” [click to continue…]

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