An antidote to all those annual lists lauding writers under 25 or 30. Women who come to writing later in life are doing so because they didn't have the privileges to do it sooner; they're doing it as a sheer act of will and radicalism; they're doing it because they have something important to be said. Here's a list of 20 women writers who got published at 40 or older. While not exhaustive, it shows clearly that women writers are not past their prime after a certain age. In fact, many are not even “late-bloomers”—they have simply deferred publishing due to family or career commitments. But the most striking aspect that unites all of these works is how each incorporates their collected, distilled wisdom, a lifetime of reading, and the sheer radicalism that could not have been possible for a younger writer.
An essay published at The Millions. I write about how Voltaire's Candide inspired both my physical garden and my literary one. Along the way, I share thoughts from Virginia Woolf, May Sarton, Diane Ackerman, Adam Gopnik and . . . The Martian (by Andy Weir.)
My review of Akil Kumarasamy's debut short story collection is now up at PopMatters. It is an interlinked set of short stories, so I also talk a bit about how such collections work.