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Our authors on the fictional females who inspire them

Posted 8th Mar 2018

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked a few of our brilliant authors for their favourite female characters in fiction. From Marilynne Robinson’s Lila to Sophie Hatter in Howl’s Moving Castle, read on and perhaps you’ll find a new favourite literary heroine…

Inara Verzemnieks (author of Among the Living and the Dead)

While not fictional, one of my favourite female characters on the page belongs to Sei Shonagon and the brilliantly complex narrative persona that emerges over the course of  “The Pillow Book.” By turns playful and mournful, caustic and compassionate, ever alert to that which is both beautiful and broken, Shonagon’s impressionistic account of everyday life is rich in small quiet detail and complicated emotions.

Dorthe Nors (author of Mirror, Shoulder, Signal)

There are so many amazingly crazy, vibrant, strong, unfathomable women in fiction so it’s hard to pick just one, but having a closer look at my book case I chose one of my favorites: Lila in Marilynne Robinson’s novel “Lila”. She’s a drifter, an existence on the periphery of society, in sync with nature, scarred by violence and loss, but full of compassion – and a true survivor.

Olivia Sudjic (author of Sympathy)

Currently my favourite female fictional character is Faye – the eye/I at the centre of Rachel Cusk’s trilogy. It would be inappropriate to say much about her. She is an invisible observer and yet one of the most memorable voices I’ve ever encountered. I have just got my hands on a proof of the final instalment, ‘Kudos’. YAY

Maria Turtschaninoff (author of The Red Abbey Chronicles)

Sophie Hatter in Howl’s Moving Castle finally dares to stand up for herself after being turned into an old woman by a witch. My one wish for old age is to gain her confidence!

Who’s your favourite female character? Join in the conversation on Twitter @PushkinPress.