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Historical Diaries/Biographies by/about Women

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Post #595832
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3:32 pm, Apr 21 2013
Posts: 796

So, pretty self-explanatory.

My conditions:
-Preferably non-fiction, though semi-fiction is acceptable;
-diaries/autobiographies etc. whose authenticity is questioned are also acceptable, provided they are interesting to read.
-Preferably a diary or autobiography, or some compilation of records, i.e. letters, but biographies are also acceptable, provided they are not too dry.
-Does not have to cover the woman's entire life
-Preferably should begin no later than the 1940s or so. May consider those of later periods if particularly compelling or telling remarkable stories.

Bonus points for:
-Coming-of-age aspects;
-Romantic or political intrigue;
-LGBT people/issues;
-Mental illness
-Women during World War 1 and 2

Do not recommend:
-Modern celebrity autobiographies or biographies.
-Diaries, autobiographies or biographies focusing on a man.


Edit: Should have clarified - I'm very happy to receive historical manga and/or manga essays, as long as they are not wildly historically inaccurate. MORI Kaoru's works are good examples due to her extensive research, even though the stories are technically fiction. Honey & Honey is a good example of a manga essay - it's set very recently but it's non-fiction and explores LGBT issues.

Though I created this thread thinking mainly of literature or maybe films or something, I'm happy to receive recommendations from all media. smile

Last edited by mogiks at 6:09 pm, Apr 21

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Post #595841
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5:00 pm, Apr 21 2013
Posts: 473

Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945 by Marie Vassiltchikov. Not a political drama per se (in spite of the author's acquaintances being involved in the Hitler assassination plot), but rather a personal account of life in wartime Germany.

Post #595843
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5:05 pm, Apr 21 2013
Posts: 106

You should try Otoyomegatari, while it's not really a diary it makes up for that by being totally excellent.

Post #595849 - Reply to (#595841) by Allez
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6:07 pm, Apr 21 2013
Posts: 796

Quote from Allez
Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945 by Marie Vassiltchikov. Not a political drama per se (in spite of the author's acquaintances being involved in the Hitler assassination plot), but rather a personal account of life in wartime Germany.

Thank you, that's a great example, I'll check it out. I should add that I'm particularly interested in the stories of women during WW1&2.

Quote from craggt
You should try Otoyomegatari, while it's not really a diary it makes up for that by being totally excellent.

That's another good example. I did start reading it a while back but stopped because the chapters were being scanlated so slowly, but now you remind me, I will catch up on what has come out since then smile

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Post #595874

12:05 am, Apr 22 2013
Posts: 535

Lady mitsuko?

And maybe YAMATO Waki's works? Yokohama Monogatari for example covers issues about Japanese after the arrival of foreigners

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Post #595929
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12:37 pm, Apr 22 2013
Posts: 494

There's those BBC dramas/documentaries about WW2 women....

Land girls
Spitfire women

Also found this website when searching for the names of the dramas and they have a list of further reading that may be useful.

Post #595931
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1:51 pm, Apr 22 2013
Posts: 151

How about Wild Swans?

silent killer
Post #595958
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chasing oblivion

6:28 pm, Apr 22 2013
Posts: 1366

Diary of a Young Girl from Anne Frank. Don't know if you've read this yet. pretty sure you have, but it never hurts to cover all the bases.

Sarcasm just doesn't work over the internet.
Post #596096
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5:32 pm, Apr 23 2013
Posts: 796

Cliff - I have read Lady Mitsuko already but I'll definitely check out Yokohama Monogatari and the author's other works. Thanks for your suggestions smile

Tsubamex - These look great and the site you linked is very informative, not to mention its further reading section, which I'll look into. Thanks.

Bafflement - That looks perfect, I'll check it out biggrin

silent killer - coincidentally, I just finished reading it for the first time yesterday, and it's somewhat tied into the reason I made this thread in the first place. I found a semi-fictional memoir/book in my family's attic called Our Spoons Came From Woolworths by Barbara Comyns Carr and after I had finished it I remembered that I had always regretted never reading Anne Frank's diary in school. I decided to get my hands on a copy, and then it got me thinking that I wanted to read other memoirs too. Hence this thread. So, yes, I have read it, but thank you for your suggestion.

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Post #596116
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Genderbent Funghi
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8:57 pm, Apr 23 2013
Posts: 1706

Not sure if you may have seen them before, but have you read the 'Dear Canada,' 'Dear America' and 'The Royal Diaries?' Granted most of them of them are aimed at children, but they are all written in diary format and I always enjoyed reading them when I was younger. eyes

There's also a bunch of spin-offs.

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Post #596118
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9:21 pm, Apr 23 2013
Posts: 412

Good WW2 Fiction:
I recently read Code Name Verity. It is a work of fiction, but the research is very well done (in my opinion) and it's set during WW2. Definitely worth a read. rity
I also immensely enjoyed Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys. It is fictional, but there are slightly autobiographical aspects to it, and it was inspired the author's family history. s-of-gray

Good WW2 memoirs/biographies: een mic-city origin=related_works origin=related_works

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Post #596119
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Mad With a Hat

9:22 pm, Apr 23 2013
Posts: 4682

I'm not sure if that's exactly what you're looking for, but these aren't that far, I hope.

How about Simone de Beauvoir's writings?
The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith is also an interesting read,
and is said to be based on the author's life.

I haven't read it myself, but I really want to -
Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America by Lillian Faderman.

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Post #596274
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10:22 pm, Apr 24 2013
Posts: 796

I was not expecting this many great suggestions smile

CatzCradle - I was not aware of these, and I am certainly not above reading books aimed at children. I expect they're aimed at American and Canadian girls, whereas I'm British, but that'll just make them a lot more informative. Thank you smile

ImaginaryWishes - These are amazing suggestions *_* having trouble finding ebooks of some of them, but I've just downloaded Code Name Verity and Between Shades of Grey. Thanks biggrin

NightSwan - These all look great biggrin I completely forgot that I had been intending to read The Price of Salt. Your last suggestion sounds especially great but I couldn't find anywhere to get it. I ended up with Lillian Faderman's "Naked in the Promised Land" instead, but if I like it I'll definitely look harder for Odd Girls smile

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