East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


The sort of women that would look at us and consider us gnats

There this meme doing the rounds – and yes, I already told you that I can’t see why they call’em memes, but anyway…

The idea is to list five (or ten, depending on what version you find) women writers that have somehow influenced you and your world-view.
And there’s a lot of people listing fiction writers – and indeed I think I will do a women fictioneers post, maybe next week.
Right now, though, I think I’ll do my own list of authors that were and are indispensable to me… and I’ll focus on nonfiction.
But I think I’ll do six – just to be my usual wayward self.
And as a bonus, I’ll also give you a book title to check out.

Here goes, in random order…

Continue reading


Edna Kenton and the Shape of the Earth

titleI tried to track down some info on Edna Kenton, but there’s no wikipedia page about her.

There’s a very short bio – three paragraphs – in Anne Innis Dagg’s The Feminine Gaze: a Canadian Compendium of Non-Fiction Women Authors and their Books 1836-1945, and the first paragraph goes like this

Kenton, Edna 1876-1954. Edna Kenton is known best for her editing the Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents (Relations dej j├ęsuites), voluminous annual reports describing all manner of conditions and experiences sent home in the 1660s to France by priests of the Society of Jesus stationed in Canada. She never married.

OK, maybe it’s just me, but that last line kills me, really.

So, why looking into the life of an unmarried woman (gasp!) editing Jesuit letters?

Because Edna Kenton wrote The Book of Earths. Continue reading