The publishing world lost a wonderful author last
week. Maeve Binchy, best known for her novels set in Ireland died at 72. Her
novels were translated into 37 languages and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.
Did you know her books have outsold those of other Irish writers such as Oscar Wilde,
Beckett, W. B. Yeats, Seamus Heaney,
and Roddy Doyle?
Craig goes onto say about Maeve: “Maeve Binchy’s warmth and interest in other people included their families, but I can’t help but feel that her detailed portraits of ordinary life might not have been so predicated on the relationships between men and women had she had a child. “We’re nothing if we’re not loved,” she said in an interview. “When you meet somebody who is more important to you than yourself, that has to be the most important thing in life, really.”
No matter what your experience of adult love, there is nothing as strong as the bond between a mother and a child. One reason why so many contemporary women writers have focused on this is that it is new territory, precisely because the great female writers of the past had not experienced it.”
Craig also has the audacity to imply that Maeve’s writing is lacking because, “Binchy, whose first novel was about a 20-year friendship between two women, didn’t need the experience of motherhood to write about love and friendship in a way that charmed millions. But she might have dug deeper, charming less but enlightening more, had she done so.”
Here I have to go, WTF? Just because a female author has never given birth or experienced motherhood, is she less enlightened and doesn’t know what love and friendship truly is? But if she had been a mother, she would understand this better?
This angers me greatly because I made a decision a long time ago never to have children and the possibility of marriage for me is nil to none. I guess some may think I’m lacking in life and god forbid I decided to write a book about marriage or children, because apparently I won’t know what I’m doing because I haven’t experienced it.
Why should we care if an author hasn’t experienced what they’re writing as long as they do it well? There are authors writing about vampires and werewolves, including female authors who write M/M romance, as well as male authors writing romance and amazing heroines and female characters. Say what you will about Nicholas Sparks, but his female characters are amazingly written based on The Notebooks and A Walk to Remember, the only two books I’ve read from him. Stephen King has always written strong and three-dimensional female characters. Check out The Shining, Lisey’s Story and The Stand as proof of this. Based on Craig’s analysis, or perhaps I'm looking too much into this, she also feel these authors who aren’t werewolves, vampires or female authors writing M/M romance, or straight authors writing LGBT fiction shouldn’t write these books because they will never experience the real emotion behind the story and characters because they’re not them.
I really wonder what was Amanda Craig’s motivation for writing such an article about Maeve Binchy? Why no mention of her long lasting marriage or if any research had been done, Craig may have found out Maeve had a fulfilling life surrounded by friends and family. Because if Maeve's inability to have children and Craig criticizing this, she has insulted Maeve on so many levels.
Regardless of Craig pointing out what some may think is a major fault and makes a woman less than a woman because she can't have children, Maeve will be remembered for her wonderful books and having a fulfilling life regardless if she created life.