Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Writing Women

If you walk by the library’s display case this month, you’ll see some familiar names and faces: Ursula Le Guin, Jane Kirkpatrick, Michele Longo Eder, and Diana Abu Jaber, to name a few. What do they have in common? They are all women authors living in Oregon! March is National Women’s History Month, and we are featuring a sampling of Oregon’s women authors in honor of the month.

The origins of Women’s History Month began in Eastern Europe, when March 8 was designated International Women’s Day to celebrate women's contributions to society. The day was first observed in the United States in 1911. Over the years it grew in popularity, so in 1981, Senator Orrin Hatch and Representative Barbara Mikulski cosponsored the first Joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming a "Women's History Week.” In 1987, Congress expanded the week to the month of March.

Oregon’s women authors write for all ages, and in all genres and topics. Several noted science fiction and fantasy writers are Ursula Le Guin, Cherie Priest, Patricia McKillip, and Kate Wilhelm. April Henry, M.K. Wren, Chelsea Cain, and Shirley Tallman are known for their mysteries. Michele Longo Eder, Kathleen Dean Moore, and Lauren Kessler have written award-winning nonfiction books. Noted fiction authors are Molly Gloss, Jean Auel, Diana Abu Jaber, Diane Hammond, and Jane Kirkpatrick. Well-known children’s authors include Deborah Hopkinson, Virginia Euwer Wolff, Cynthia Rylant, and Susan Fletcher.

If you would like to know more about authors from Oregon, you can go to the Oregon Author’s website. This site began with works published in 2008, and older titles are gradually being added. You can browse the list by the author’s name, the genre, the author’s city, or the year of publication. Check out some of Oregon’s women authors, and join us in celebrating Women’s History Month!

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