From this article at The Bookseller: Fifty-one percent of women over 40 feel older women in fiction books tend to fall into clichéd roles, according to a new survey.
I’m sure next we’ll see startling news that a majority of women from 20 to 40 feel that fictional women in this age group are frequently presented in cliched roles.
After that, perhaps we’ll be stunned to hear that teen girls consider that many teen girls in novels tend to fall into cliched roles.
After that, the guys can join in.
Can there be anyone, anywhere, who has somehow spent their life reading but is only now realizing that many characters, of all types, fall into cliched roles in fiction? What next, the shocking revelation that fictional characters are frequently wittier conversationalists and faster with pithy retorts than people in real life? That fictional characters experience death-defying adventure more frequently than is entirely plausible?
Anyway, the article goes on to push for more novels featuring female protagonists over forty, which would be nice, sure, but I’m not holding my breath considering the preeminence of YA right now.
Still, since we seem to have arrived at this topic: quick, let’s list off some female protagonists who are fortyish or above. These are in no order whatsoever other; this is just as I thought of them.
- Maskelle, from Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells
- Laura in In Arcadia by Andrea K Host
- Ista from Paladin of Souls by LMB
- Herris Serrano from Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon
- Martha from Tea with the Black Dragon by RA MacAvoy
- Mama Jason in Mirabile by Janet Kagan
- Sennith in the Twelve Houses series by Sharon Shinn. She’s not yet in her forties, I don’t think, but she’s not some young girl either.
- Perhaps ditto for Torrin Kerr in the Valor series by Tanya Huff. I’m not sure she’s in her forties, but she’s certainly mature.
- Seraph in the Raven duology by Patricia Briggs.
Who else? Mature female protagonists; not just secondary characters. I’m sure I’m missing some. Who could go in that tenth spot?