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Literarywives4I’m excited to be hosting a new series on Persephone Writes along with three other spectacular blogging women! It’s a virtual book group of sorts in which we’ll be exploring the role of wives in contemporary fiction. Along with our reviews of the books we’ve chosen, we’ll also address thought-provoking questions about the ways in which wives are defined in the novels, particularly with regard to voice and identity, within their marriages and without. And since Persephone Writes is a blog about the writing life, you can also expect discussion of craft points and style in relation to each novel as I make an effort to “learn” from my reading. 🙂

Allow me to introduce my lovely co-hosts for this project:

Ariel Coffee RepublicAriel Price (One Little Library) is an editor who will soon be trading her freelancing days for the life of an in-house editorial assistant at Corwin Press. A literature enthusiast, she likes heroines full of gumption and conflicts fraught with ethical dilemmas. Her favorite book is and always will be Jane Eyre. (Psst….Ariel also organized this whole thing and designed our oh-so-pretty logo — thanks, Ariel!) Ariel is on Facebook and Twitter (@arielprice).


Audra Friend (Unabridged Chick) is an Air Force brat whose love of reading was nurtured by her family’s numerous national and international moves. Her family encouraged her reading of historical novels to learn more about the places they were stationed.  (She still turns to historical fiction before any trip!)  Audra studied anthropology and geography as an undergrad, and she’s most taken with novels that address the stickier side of history, place, and society as well as the roles of women from royals to riffraff. Audra has worked in the non-profit sector for the last ten years. Connect with Audra on Facebook and Twitter.

Emily (3)Emily January (The Bookshelf of Emily J.) is a Ph.D. student studying professional communication who has worked as an editor and a composition instructor.  She is the mother of two little girls and loves chocolate and ice cream.  The thing she wants most right now is a day in bed with a good book, preferably fiction. You can visit Emily at her new Facebook page.

These girls have serious writing chops and review with attitude. I’m honored to be included among them.

Here’s the game plan for our little club, which you’re encouraged to join: Each month, beginning May 1, the four of us will post our reviews and reflections on one of four novels. For April, we’re reading American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfield. In May, The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain. We’ll wrap up June and July with A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick, and The Aviator’s Wife, by Melanie Benjamin, respectively. And just in case you’ve any doubts about the ability of these titles to stand up to some serious literary criticism, have a look at David Foster Wallace‘s syllabus using “lightweight” fiction in the classroom.

So what are you waiting for? Grab the first book and get ready to join the discussion!