Thursday, March 19, 2009

What Woman Author Am I?

I loved this little exercise in honor of Women's History Month, which I found at Eva's who got it here. However, I've decided I want to do a slightly different version of it. Mine is, instead, a one-woman "Who Am I?" See if you can guess who I am from the ten clues I've provided. If you get to the tenth clue, still have no idea, and don't just want to make a wild guess, you are allowed to cheat and see if you can get the answer via Google or Wikipedia (but I'd love it if you were honest and let me know whether or not you had to "cheat." I was absolutely astonished when I found out all these interesting details about this author a few years back). Oh yes, and, for those of you who read my post on Shakespeare and Sartre, it's neither Dorothy Parker nor Louise Dickinson Rich (that would be just a little too easy), which is obvious, given the first clue.

1. I am a late-nineteenth/early-twentieth-century writer (surprise, surprise).

2. I was born in England, but as a child, I lived in England, France, Germany, and Spain.

3. Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature (1995) claims I "led an ordinary country life in Kent," which is laughable.

4. Unless you consider being in an open marriage in that day and age "ordinary."

5. Or you consider, in that day and age, waiting until you're seven months pregnant before getting married to be "ordinary."

6. Or maybe what was "ordinary" was that I raised two of my husband's children by another lover as if they were my own.

7. Oh, wait a minute, I know what might have been "ordinary." When we were first married, my husband chose, rather than to live with me, to continue living with his mother.

8. I published over 60 books, both on my own and in conjunction with others.

9. I was among the founders of a society that was a precursor to the Labor Party (making me a very appropriate subject for a quiz that celebrates Women's History Month, no?). The society was named after my son, who died when he was a teenager.

10. I died of lung cancer, most likely caused by the fact that I was a heavy smoker, at age 65.

Leave your answers in the comments, and if anyone else wants to make up a quiz, I'd love to see your version and play the guessing game myself (I'm hopeless at these sorts of things, so you're guaranteed to stump at least one person. It's worth it to me to be stumped, though, to get to find out interesting tidbits about authors). I will post the answer, if it isn't obvious from the comments, next week.


Anonymous said...

I admit I had to cheat. I'm not familiar with this author at all. I won't say the name so not to ruin it for someone who may actually know the answer :)
That was fun. Thanks :)

nigel patela said...

This is something I should know.
I hope I don't have to return my "This is what a Feminist looks like" button.

Emily Barton said...

Thanks, Stacy. Yours was fun, too. Luckily, by the time I got to it, all the answers were already there, so I didn't have to do any guessing or cheating.

Nigel, you can definitely keep your button. I wouldn't expect anyone who doesn't already know all this about her would have a clue based on the books with which most of us who are familiar with her are familiar. (And my guess is that a lot of people, especially Americans, aren't even familiar with her books.) I'll give you a hint, though: I've mentioned her quite a bit on my blog, especially in reference to J.K. Rowling.

Anonymous said...

I figured it out but only because of the clue you gave to Nigel. I had to go to Wikipedia though to check and make sure. That was fun!

nigel patela said...

And I suspect this person even has her own Indigo Girls song.

litlove said...

No, I have absolutely no clue. But I'm interested in all that odd mothering when I do find out who it is!

Emily Barton said...

Nigel, my guess is that the Indigo Girls have never heard of her (but they might surprise me).

Litlove, you'll be very surprised, I think, when I post the answer (and I hope you will dig deep and give us a great post on her as "mother").

Anonymous said...

I'm going to assume some "ordinary" stiff decided that her life was ordinary because she lived like others did around her. Sometimes you have peel back the curtains to see what's really goin on in the farmhouse!