We’re celebrating Women of the Word with this collection of free printable Oversize Book Page Wall Art featuring female author quotes! From Jane Austen to Toni Morrison to Suzanne Collins, we’ve collected quotes by eight authors from the last 200 years. They’ll also make a great gift for International Women’s Day!
Okay, let me see a show of hands (and be honest!). Who here among the American readers has heard of International Women’s Day? Really? Okay then, who among you with your hands raised celebrates it? Does anyone get recognized at work or at home? Flowers? Cards? Warm wishes? I see. Interesting. Now, then! Who here among our non-American readers has heard of International Women’s Day. Ahhhhh, yes. That’s better. For you American readers, I will tell you that 100% of the hands went up for that last question. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it. I hadn’t either until I went overseas to be with Handan. In all the countries in which we lived and worked (and all of the countries Handan lived and worked before me), International Women’s Day is a pretty big deal. And guess what? It’s here! Check your calendars, ladies, and tell the sofa sprout in your life that he better wise up, and fast, because March 8th is International Women’s Day!
To help you celebrate, I’ve curated a few of my favorite quotes from female authors and turned them into oversize book page wall art. I have twelve quotes from eight authors for you today. I will revisit this topic in the future to offer you even more!
No collection of female authors would be complete without Jane Austen. She’s the High Queen of Prose, and I’d probably be swept away by hate mail if I didn’t include something from Pride & Prejudice. At a time when women were considered naturally inferior to men, she pursued a career that was almost taboo. Austen never lived to see her name on any of her published works. Her early books were published anonymously, “By a Lady,” as was common at the time. A lady’s place was in the home, and it was considered vulgar for a woman to aspire to be a “literacy lioness.” Her later works capitalized upon the success of her previous works by billing them as, “By the Author of Sense and Sensibility.” Had she lived just a few decades longer, she would have seen her name grace the covers of her works, and she would have enjoyed tremendous fame, as the first shackles of the patriarchy began to break and fall from the backs of women across England.
A year after Jane Austen’s death, Emily Bronte was born, the fifth of six children, and the younger sister of author Charlotte Bronte. She would grow into a reclusive and mysterious woman, but she’ll forever be remembered for her Victorian powerhouse novel, Wuthering Heights. Written under the pen name “Ellis Bell,” it was a tour de force of passion and violence and power. Even after it was published in her name in 1850, most readers and critics still believed that it must have been written by a man. Emily Bronte died two years after Wuthering Heights was published, and she never saw its impact on English society and the eternal fame that she achieved.
Emily’s sister, Charlotte, was the eldest of the three Bronte sister novelists (I won’t be discussing Anne in this post). She achieved some measure of fame with her best-known novel, Jane Eyre. Like her sisters, she had to publish under a male pen name, but with the book’s success, she allowed herself to be drawn more and more into London social circles where it had become known that she was the author. She was a much more outgoing person than Emily and thus enjoyed more fame, and I suppose she enjoyed the fame she had. Jane Eyre is considered a game-changing novel with its internalization of action and focus on Jane’s spiritual and moral awakening. The novel explores themes of classism, religion, sexuality and the early seeds of feminism – which wasn’t yet a fully-formed or voiced idea.
The great Toni Morrison came of age in a pre-civil-rights America, raised by parents who had witnessed the very worst in human beings. Her writing was shaped by her own experiences as an African-American in a country struggling to overcome its violent and brutal past and find a way forward to a tolerant and integrated society. It was also influenced by the integrity of her parents, their dedication to heritage and their love of language. Her books are a powerful testament to all that she has seen in her long and productive life. She is a Nobel Laureate, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Suzanne Collins shot to mega-stardom after the first Hunger Games movie hit the silver screen. But she was already well-known in young adult literature before that with her Gregor the Overlander series of books. She is the best-selling Kindle author on Amazon of all time (JK Rowling would be first, but the Harry Potter books are not sold on Amazon). If you haven’t read the Overlander series or the Hunger Games trilogy, I urge you to do so. While all of the women listed here are mind-boggling authors whose works should be read and studied by all at least once, Collins is just plain fun. That’s not to say her works aren’t deep or symbolic. Not at all. But they were written in the modern day, and they’re just a bit more accessible than the other works quoted here. But that could just be me. I’m a guy with a head full of rocks, so sci-fi and fantasy books will always grab me before the classics. 😀
Zadie Smith is an Englishwoman born to a Jamaican emigrant mother and an English father. She smashed onto the international literary scene with her critically acclaimed novel, White Teeth, written in 2000. Smith’s first novel weaves the stories of an indecisive Englishman, his Jamaican Jehovah’s Witness wife, a Bengali Muslim man from Bangladesh, his hot-headed and judgmental wife and the children of both couples. It is a humorous and sad account of the struggles of immigrants and their children as they navigate the uncertain and treacherous waters of cultural assimilation.
Lucy Maud Montgomery (published as L.M. Montgomery) has the biggest bestseller on this list with Anne of Green Gables. The Canadian-born Montgomery wrote nine novels starring the young orphan Anne Shirley, twelve other novels and more than one thousand short stories, poems and essays. But Anne of Green Gables is her crowning achievement. It has gone on to sell over 50 million copies in 36 languages worldwide. It is number 25 on the all-time best-seller list. That is a staggering achievement! She is the number 3 woman on the list after JK Rowling and Agatha Christie. Rare company, indeed!
Not much is known about our last author, Marthe Troly-Curtin. She’s best known these days for the quote below which comes from her 1912 novel, Phrynette Married. Many others have used that quote as their own, including John Lennon, Bertrand Russel and T.S. Elliot, but Troly-Curtin’s use is the first documented, so to her goes the credit. Her novel was a big hit in London when it was published, though she seems to have vanished in the mists of time after that. But one great quote is all it takes for immortality, and Marthe Troly-Curtin will always be remembered for this gem to which so many of us can relate.
Well, ladies, that does it for now. I hope you liked my selections. Please enjoy the printables, and have a very happy International Women’s Day!
I designed today’s offerings to fit into a 16×20 inch frame or a 24×36 poster frame, though you may scale them up or down as necessary. 24×36 inch scales down easily to 20×30 / 16×24 / 12×18 / 8×12 / 4×6 inches, and 16×20 inch scales down to 12×15 / 8×10 / 4×5 inches with no problems. Also, if you don’t have a large-format printer like the Canon i8720 (prints up to 13×19 inches) and are wondering the best place to get these large printables printed, we recommend trying Staples in your area or Amazon print shop. Both stores offer custom-sized prints on matte or glossy paper and they both cost about the same. Staples also offers Engineering Prints, which are really affordable for large-format prints, but in some areas (like ours), they must be ordered from their online print shop.
Now it’s time to click on the button below to download the printables you’d like!
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