Gone Girls, Found

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Gone Girls, Found

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Edited: Nov 23, 2014, 11:43am

Profile in the NYT of Gillian Flynn and Cheryl Strayed, who are both having movies made from their books: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/arts/talking-with-the-authors-of-gone-girl-and...

They talk a bit about what it's like writing women characters who aren't "likable" and their perspective on being women writers. I found it interesting, although the interview doesn't get very in-depth.

I did not like Gone Girl, but I'm willing to give Flynn another shot. I have Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail on my Kindle.

Nov 23, 2014, 10:04am

Thanks for sharing. Very interesting reading. I am always pleased to see public figure women willing to call themselves "feminists."

While I liked Gone Girl, I liked the movie more. I preferred her novel Sharp Objects, which seems more difficult to make into a movie given the subplot of self-mutilation. I have heard that Dark Places is also going to be made into a film, which worries me, as I think it's her weakest novel.

I haven't read the other book, but my father did last year and warned me against it -- he said, "You'll be so frustrated at how underprepared she is to hike the Pacific Crest Trail!"

Nov 23, 2014, 10:05am

I have barely heard of Flynn's book (but no idea what's it about), however, saying that the heroine "embodies every awful stereotype" about women is not exactly making me want to grab a copy.

(Never heard of the other one.)

But, this:

A theme that has always interested me is how women express anger, how women express violence. That is very much part of who women are, and it’s so unaddressed. A vast amount of literature deals with cycles of violence about men, antiheroes. Women lack that vocabulary.

Doesn't strike me as correct in the least, so much so it hardly seems worth repudiating. There are violent women everywhere, and they are (called), in many variations, crazy bitches, hysterical, nags, mean girls, witches, harpies etc. Crack open practically any book by any famous male author and you'll run into violent aggressive and evil women ruining some hapless male's life.

Seems to me that Flynn (at least based on this interview) completely misses the point--the problem is how female aggression and "badness" are perceived relative to the male, not that they don't get represented.

Nov 23, 2014, 11:45am

>3 LolaWalser: Lola, I don't think you'd like Gone Girl. I think she may be talking about the anger that might motivate women to violence, understanding that and seeing that is part of being human, is not very much addressed. However, I don't think her character is very successful at that, at least not in my reading of the book, although I am willing to watch the movie, as I enjoy David Fincher's work.

>2 sparemethecensor: I have Sharp Objects on my TBR and will read it. My book club is reading Wild next month. I've heard it's controversial and thus likely to spark discussion.

Nov 23, 2014, 12:29pm

>4 sturlington:

It's possible that the interview doesn't give a good picture of what the book is about, I could be completely misunderstanding Flynn's attitude.

If she created a thoroughly nasty character who doesn't get her comeuppance or some such, that's already miles away from "the usual".

Nov 23, 2014, 1:48pm

Zoe Heller writes about dreadful women. Margaret Atwood has also moved into the territory of woman-on-woman manipulation and evil in The Robber Bride. I enjoyed these books immensely for reasons I cannot completely articulate, except by falling back on the old chestnut that human beings are wired to find something alluring in what is evil or twisted even as we don't want it in our real lives.

Gone Girl wasn't on my wish list, but I downloaded it today after I read the piece in the Times.

Feb 11, 2015, 6:17pm

I also liked Sharp Objects much more than Gone Girl - I think it asked much more difficult questions about female sexuality, different male and female moralities, and the way that women's physical appearances are used to define them. Gone Girl put too much onto the twist.

Totally agree with Lola's point about portrayals of 'bad' women...