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July 29, 2015

Woman Crush Wednesday: Fierce and Fun Females!

Posted by Maya
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Welcome to another wonderful week of #wcw! Most of us may be sweltering in the throes of summer, but these literary ladies know how to keep their cool! These women know how to get things done, in ways big and small. This week's roundup proves that no obstacle is insurmountable with the right amount of determination --- not to mention a streak of fierce independence! Join us in celebrating these ladies, whose boldness on the page inspires us off the page.

Maya: Morwen, from the ENCHANTED FOREST CHRONICLES by Patricia C. Wrede
It’s not quite #tbt yet, but my #wcw this week hails from my elementary school library! The Enchanted Forest Chronicles is a creative fantasy series of “not your Disney princess” characters, starring a princess who’s tired of the restrictions of princessdom and runs away to be the “hostage” of a wise and powerful female dragon. But Princess Cimorene isn’t my pick for the week --- it’s actually her companion, the witch Morwen. Morwen is a sensible and powerful witch who lives in the Enchanted Forest with her nine cats. She’s frustrated with “traditional magic” and its confines, wearing black robes solely because they’re comfortable, avoiding the pointy hat altogether and refusing to have even one black cat. She’s talented and tidy, and handpaints a sign above her door: “None of this nonsense, please.” With her short stature, glasses and forward-thinking attitude in an already creatively empowering series, Morwen has been a #wcw since my librarian read me this series back in school! In a world where fantasy stories largely imply powerful male saviors rescuing damsels and kingdoms, I will always love the practical, bookish little witch who lives in the forest healing people, growing herbs and tending to her cats. 
 
Hannah: Carmencita Ibanez from STARSHIP TROOPERS by Robert A. Heinlein
Carmen doesn’t play as big a part in the book as she does in the movie, but that doesn’t stop her from being a totally epic military queen. In the sci-fi novel, published in 1959, she’s only mentioned a couple of times as the protagonist's continuing crush --- for good reason. Carmen’s got smarts, spunk and a standard pixie cut, excelling at school and rising in the Federation as a skilled female pilot. She can command a room full of seasoned Mobile Infantrymen with her presence alone, inducing morale and respect all at once. She’s the reason Rico joins up in the first place, so you have her to thank for inspiring him to help capture that bug brain and win the campaign on Klendathu.
 
Marco: Piper Kerman, author of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK: My Year in a Women's Prison
If picking Piper Kerman as my #wcw is wrong, then I don't want to be right. She has brought light to something that many of us will never experience: prison. In 2004, she served 13 months for money laundering and drug trafficking for her girlfriend who was involved with a West African kingpin. She writes about her experiences in the minimum security prison in the memoir ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK: My Year in a Women's Prison. The book has been adapted to a show exclusively on Netflix known as "Orange Is the New Black," starring Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman. Piper is shown as a dynamic character who went from shy and scared to a complete badass the audience ends up in love with. Post-prison, Piper Kerman is on the board of the Women's Prison Association and has testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights for a hearing on "Reassessing Solitary Confinement". She now resides in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and fellow writer Larry Smith.
 
Jeanna: Author Gayle Forman
I may not have read a lot of her work, but she is an amazing person and an ingenious writer. Currently, I'm in the middle of JUST ONE DAY, and it may be one of my favorite books I've read in 2015 so far! Also, I had the pleasure of meeting Gayle Forman last year, and we got to chat about her work. She is incredibly down-to-earth and tremendously kind. The messages she leaves within her writing --- like with JUST ONE DAY that "anything can happen" --- are both inspirational and empowering. I finally understand the reasons behind her fame; it is because she is awesome!