Cover image for Women who love books too much : bibliophiles, bluestockings & prolific pens from the Algonquin Hotel to the Ya-Ya sisterhood
Women who love books too much : bibliophiles, bluestockings & prolific pens from the Algonquin Hotel to the Ya-Ya sisterhood
Knight, Brenda, 1958-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Berkeley, Calif. : Conari Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xi, 274 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN471 .K59 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



This is a celebration of the special relationship women can have with books. It crosses the ages from Biblical scribes to women writers making a name for themselves in the 21st century.

Author Notes

Brenda Knight is the author of Women of the Beat Generation, which won an American Book Award. A scholar of medieval literature and modern poetry, she lives in San Francisco, California.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Knight's collection of profiles of women writers suffers from a peppy cuteness that very nearly drowns out the invaluable information it imparts. Bite-size and fun to consume, Knight's concise portraits are intellectual snack food not wholly without nutritional value, but they do leave the reader feeling slightly queasy. She starts out with a gratifying selection of literary first ladies, rescuing "England's first professional woman writer," Aprha Behn, and America's first black poet, Lucy Terry, from obscurity, then moves on to "mystics and madwomen," a jumble of quick takes that links Saint Teresa of Avila with Emily Dickinson and Zelda Fitzgerald. Such glib mixtures occur in each giddily defined category, which include unusually prolific women writers and "adored authors," an approach that borders on trivialization. Knight envisions book clubs as her primary audience, and, in spite of the silliness of the book's structure, the profiles themselves are useful as hors d'oeuvres preceding the feasts the writers she introduces provide. --Donna Seaman

Library Journal Review

More about writing than book lovers, this book consists of short (mostly 500- to 1000-word) essays on over 70 women writers as diverse as Sappho, Danielle Steele, and Zora Neale Hurston, as well as many lesser-known writers. Knight, author of the American Book Award-winning Women of the Beat Generation, divides the book into well-known women writers, famous writing families, spiritual authors, banned writers, prolific writers, style-setters, and "adored" authors. Material on most of these authors will already be a part of library collections that support women's studies curricula. However, the volume's easily understandable and inspiring style, augmented by concise entries, an appendix on book groups, and a resource guide, make it an entertaining introduction to women writers. Recommended for all young adult collections and public libraries.DAngela M. Weiler, SUNY Coll. of Agriculture and Technology at Morrisville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Vicki Leon
Forewordp. ix
Introduction: Women Who Love Books Too Muchp. 1
1 First Ladies of Literature Mothers of Inventionp. 5
2 Ink in Their Veins Theories of Relativityp. 47
3 Mystics and Madwomen Subversive Pietyp. 63
4 Banned, Blacklisted, and Arrested Daring Dissidentsp. 97
5 Prolific Pens Indefatigable Inkp. 133
6 Salonists and Culture Makers Hermeneutic Circles and Human Historyp. 159
7 Women Whose Books Are Loved Too Much Adored Authorsp. 207
Appendix Book Groups Chatting It Upp. 237
Resource Guidep. 243
Acknowledgmentsp. 249
Bibliographyp. 251
Index of Names Citedp. 255
Index of Works and Periodicals Citedp. 265
General Indexp. 273