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On Fridays: Missing Women

Today’s post comes with thanks to Phoebe (former Relay worker) who pointed me in the direction of an article on The Gospel Coalition website.

Now I should confess that, more often than not, TGC articles that I read provoke somewhat negative reactions in me. I’m sure that there is some great stuff there, but I don’t visit it often, and only really read stuff when people point it out to me (and they usually point it out because they know it will be provoke me to rage). If you have any articles that you think I will enjoy, do feel free to send them my way.

But, back to this week’s irritant. A survey of 18 academics, requesting recommendations of good biographies to read. 90 nominations, whittled down to 13 winners. All 13 were about men, and in fact, only 5 of the 90 nominated were about women.

Which seems rather a shame.

I’m not going to go for the typical rant, although Phoebe’s point in the comments section on TGC has some merit:

“Such a shame to see no women at all in a list of the ‘best biographies’. Maybe its because the 18 scholars were all men? Maybe the title should read ‘The Best Biographies of Men voted for by Men’?”

Instead, what I’d love to get is a few recommendations of biographies of women from you all. I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to biography as a genre (must be my age) and I’d love to get some tips.

Any thoughts?

In summary:

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This entry was published on October 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm and is filed under Randomness. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “On Fridays: Missing Women

  1. Lindsay on said:

    I agree with you about TGC articles – but also suspect that the reason why I feel similar is for similar reasons – about people pointing out TGC articles to me.

    Female biographies that I have read and enjoyed (I am guessing you may well have read most of these anyway):

    – ‘Evidence Not Seen’ by Darlene Diebler Rose (this is probably my favourite)
    – Any involving Isobel Kuhn – amazing stories!
    – Rachel’s Tears by Larry Scott and Beth Nimmo (a weird choice I know, but definitely encouraged me when I read it as a teenager)
    – No Compromise (technically this is about Keith Green, but it’s by Melody Green and concentrates on both their stories)
    – Obviously the classics like Corrie Ten Boom and Joni Eareakson-Tada which I guess you have probably read already
    – Amy Carmichael – there are quite a few biographies about her that I’ve read and they are very exciting
    – Give me this mountain/ He gave us a valley/ Digging Ditches by Dr Helen Roseveare
    – ‘Rescued by Love’ by Jenny Davis
    – ‘Hannah’s Gift’ by Maria Housden – this is not technically women’s Christian biography, but it is one women’s spiritual journey and the truths that she draws from it are very interesting

    Hope that this gives you some inspiration! I have some of them as well and you are welcome to borrow them. Love Lindsay

  2. Justin Taylor on said:

    Ellidh, thanks for commenting re: my post. You may be interested in this earlier post I did, focusing on biographies of women in particular:

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/10/04/recommended-biographies-of-christian-women/

    I definitely hope we can see more biographies about women, both by women and by men. It’s interesting to note in my survey that Tommy Kidd says that Catherine Brekus’s new bio of Sarah Osborn “may be the best biography we have of an American evangelical woman.” This is something of a challenge because it is harder to write serious history of women in the Colonial American period (e.g.) on account of the source material.

    If you have other recommendations, I’d be glad to hear them. Thank you again for weighing in.

    • ellidhcook on said:

      Thanks for commenting Justin, and for pointing me towards the list, I’ll certainly check it out.

      I do think it’s a shame that there has to be a separate list for women, rather than folks recommending a more equal spread amongst the general list. Nevertheless, thank you for all the work you’ve put into compiling them.

  3. fiona lynne on said:

    I have more women memoirs and biographies on my to-read list rather than my have-read list sadly (I think the problem is there haven’t been so many published and those that were weren’t promoted in a male-dominated church culture). I do adore Corrie Ten Boom.

    My to-read list includes Ann Lamott, Addie Zierman, Kathleen Norris, Lauren Winner. I’d also like to read some of the stories of female saints such as St. Therese of Lisieux.

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