I picked this up today and had to share because I think the concept is so delicious.
Drinking with Dead Women Writers by Elaine Ambrose and AK Turner
Essays on drinking with Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, Erma Bombeck, The Bronte Sisters, Willa Cather, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, Margaret Mead, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Margaret Mitchell, Carson McCullers, Flannery O’Connor, Sylvia Plath, Ayn Rand and Virginia Woolf.
Most early female writers used pen names because women weren’t regarded as competent writers. Margaret Mitchell wrote only one published novel in her lifetime, but Gone with the Wind won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937 and sold more than 30 million copies. Emily Dickinson was so paranoid that she only spoke to people from behind a door. Carson McCullers wrote The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter at age 22. Her husband wanted them to commit suicide in the French countryside, but she refused.
Ambrose and Turner explore these and other intriguing facts about the most famous (but departed) women in literary history.
I am embarrassed to admit I wondered why they hadn’t included Harper Lee. Err, because she’s still alive? Blush. Sorry, Ms. Lee. I would love to have a drink with her and hear all about her life and her exploits with Truman Capote.
I would love to meet for drinks, or even tea or coffee, with most of these women. I am very intrigued to find out what Ambrose and Turner imagined these writers would drink and what conversations would ensue, particularly Jane Austen and Dorothy Parker. Witty and wry are a great combination over cocktails.
Whatever your beverage of choice, enjoy this book. I know I will.