This trend has been bothering me for a while

 

 

Naming books after a character (commonly female), based off of their relationship to another character. Maybe it’s that thing within me that hates to be defined by something other than myself or my own accomplishments.  I don’t go around calling myself the Teacher’s Daughter, or the Writer’s Wife.

I found several other examples including: The Shoemaker’s Wife, The Apothecary’s Daughter, The Orphan Master’s Son, and The Blacksmith’s Son.

ONE CONCESSION: I do suppose these titles might be more interesting than just calling the books Bess, Magdalena, Clare, Phoebe, Sarah or Teresita.

The only title I can find that makes me think “hm, ok, that’s fine” is The Tiger’s Wife (which I haven’t read) which refers to an unnamed deaf-mute woman who befriends a tiger.  That is admittedly kind of cool.

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18 thoughts on “This trend has been bothering me for a while

  1. behnnie

    I never noticed that before (though admittedly I tend to steer toward older, nerdier books than these so perhaps I’m faced with other conventions I’m also simply missing or ignoring), but now that you mention it: Yes. Yes, yes, and ever yes. I liken it to the band naming trend of the 00s where every band was “The” something, or a “Project” of some sort. Except that, you know, this time around it’s subtly and unintentionally demeaning.

    Reply
    1. Laura Jane Post author

      Yes, exactly! With the band names and especially the last bit. While I’ve never burned a bra (as of the posting of this comment) stuff like this gets under my skin and makes me feel…indignant. I noticed this trend while working at a bookstore a few years ago and it just rankled me.

      Reply
  2. bobofamerica

    Had you ever considered The Corpsman’s Daughter, The X-Ray Tech’s daughter, The Salesman’s daughter, The Sailor’s daughter-sister, The hitchhiker’s daughter, The beer stock boy’s daughter, The scaffolding center worker’s daughter, The Aunt who had her uterus bronzed’s niece, The Aunt that was given up for adoption but reunited with her siblings after 30 years of being raised as an only childs’ niece. Of course not. Just saying.

    Reply
    1. Laura Jane Post author

      Right, those are all great (and true!) but it would still define me by someone else’s coolness. I would rather be be the Girl Who Broke Her Back, The Girl Who Sold Books, The Girl with the Elephant Tattoo, The Girl Who Blogged Inconsistently, or The Girl Who Won The MegaMillions Jackpot. Preferably that last one, actually.

      Reply
      1. bobofamerica

        …or “the girl who made her dad one of the happiest men in the world”.

        Can be found in the book of ” Glad we didn’t use birth control around early November of 1981″ on page 552.

    1. Clyde

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      Reply
      1. Dirga

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  3. Katrina

    Oooh, good point. There’s only one title I can think of that might follow the same code from a masculine/feminine point of view: “Son of a Witch”. I’m not opposed to a book named after the main feminine character, not that I can think of any other than “Jane Eyre” (one of my favorite books BTW). And I second someone else’s comment…I’d read a book called “Laura Jane”.

    Reply
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