Last night, my husband and I argued about female characters in contemporary novels. In his opinion I had been quite tough on Eugenides’ Madeleine – he agreed that she wasn’t as well developed as the male characters in the novel, but which male writer nowadays was able to successfully capture the female psyche?
I protested – there were so many good contemporary authors. They must have written about memorable, witty and profound female characters? But as I tried to actually name them, I found very few. Patty, from the recent Franzen novel was one. And Elisabeth Costello, from the mind of Coetzee. But mentioning Ana Karenina or Madame Bovary was not going to help – as they did not fit the profile of ‘contemporary’.
So my question is: what are your favorite female characters, created by contemporary male authors (in all languages) in the last, say, twenty-five years?