Looking for a role model? Somewhere along the fine line between genius, reason and madness – why not take a leaf out of the book of one of these four magnificent writers?

We present our female style icons of literature.

From the classics to some light fiction – if you wish to develop your very own style of writing, there’s no getting around the great role models in literature. Whether you prefer the straightforward style of Ernest Hemingway, the elaborate works of Franz Kafka or the intricate designs of George R. R. Martin: reading trains your language.

The path towards the applied artistic work of writing was certainly not paved exclusively by male authors. Although their opportunities might have been limited in many cases – or perhaps precisely because of such social restrictions – women like Mary Wollstonecraft or Jane Austen began publishing their pioneering works as early as the mid-eighteenth century. Moving against all conventions of their time, these courageous writers inspired women all over the globe. This makes it all the more important to provide the space for honoring such icons of world literature. The team of novum publishing introduces four exceptional personalities who have moved us, captivated us, and stimulated us with a myriad of inspiring quotes:

“The beginning is always today.”

Mary Wollstonecraft

Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald is definitely one style icon, infamous for her lifestyle and excellent writing
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Zelda Sayre, better known as Zelda Fitzgerald, entered the history books first and foremost under her surname as the eccentric woman at the side of Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Famous for her husband, infamous for her lifestyle – she embodied the spirit of the Roaring Twenties even more than Jay Gatsby himself. Unfortunately her excellent writing has often been neglected for the benefit of gossip. Zelda Fitzgerald left behind much more than her tragic existence, which ultimately ended in a fire, when she was staying in a psychiatric hospital in 1948. Dedicating just as much of her life to writing as her considerably more famous husband, her literary career was regularly interrupted by hospital stays and resulted in just one novel – a force of nature of intimidating quality.

The writer and journalist Matthias Penzel, for example, described Fitzgerald’s “Save Me the Waltz” as follows: “Read just a few pages and you begin to struggle to catch your breath: this exquisite yet powerful language, these cascades, associations and emotions Zelda bestows in these sisters who reach puberty in the corset of the American South and flee to New York – an autobiographical masterpiece.”      

Mary Shelley

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One of the most significant works in world literature is the debut novel of Mary Shelley from 1818: “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”. Nevertheless, her other novels “Valperga”, “Perkin Warbeck” or the apocalyptic “The Last Man” deserve just as much literary recognition. A certain fascination for social reforms as well as this talented author’s radical, political mindset were part of her life from the start. After all, Mary Shelley was the daughter of the famous feminist Mary Wollstonecraft who spoke up for the rights of the cultivated woman in such ambitious works as “Thoughts on the Education of Daughters” or her “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” in the mid-eighteenth century.     

Virginia Woolf

Virgina Woolf has become a highly stylized icon to many excellent women in literature
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In 2015 an international group of 82 literary critics selected four of her novels into the ranks of the 100 most important British novels: “To the Lighthouse”, “Mrs Dalloway”, “The Waves”, and “Orlando”. Once again confirmed as a true literary icon some 78 years after her suicide, Virginia Woolf’s recollections are famous for never lacking in esthetics neither from a literary nor a human perspective. Contemplating along the fine line between genius and madness all her life, the writer has become a highly stylized role model to many excellent and ambitious women in the world of literature.    

 “Sometimes I think heaven must be one continuous unexhausted reading.”

Virginia Woolf

Gertrude Stein

Style icon Gertrude Stein aspired to translate aspects from the art of painting.
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Very different in terms of writing style is Gertrude Stein’s oeuvre, in which she aspired to translate aspects from the art of painting, such as impressionism and cubism, into her language. Born in Pittsburgh in 1874, the reduced style of this American writer derived from what William James termed “stream of consciousness” and is said to have inspired Hemingway’s writing. The author and publisher is well-known for her often-quoted line “A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”, which Hemingway allegedly could not resist to transform into “A bitch is a bitch is a bitch is a bitch” after a slight quarrel between these literary luminaries. Gertrude Stein’s figurative style never ceased to polarize her environment and is still celebrated as an excellent example of experimental literature today. 

Which writers have inspired you? Tell us more about your style icons in our comments!

Keep writing, keep typing!

Yours truly,

novum publishing