11 Single Women From Books Who Prove Being Unattached Can Be Totally Amazing
With Valentine's Day (a.k.a. Singles Appreciation Day) coming up, love is in the air. And I know I'm supposed to be all down about how there are paper hearts and cutesy couples everywhere. But I'm not, because the truth is that I love being single and having the space to carve out the life I want for myself on my terms. But you don't have to take my word for it. Just look at these amazing, kickass single ladies from literature.
If you take a second to look around, you'll realize that there aren't nearly enough single women in the literary canon. While you can find plenty of books about men in which love is not a factor, it's much harder to find a book about a woman that doesn't have a romantic element. I — as a woman whose romantic life certainly does not come first — am eager to see this trend get smashed (along with the patriarchy that produced it). After all, my life has so much more to it than love and romance. I want a life filled with adventure—if a Significant Other happens to be a part of that, then that's great. But it's not all there is for a woman. I want more reading that reflects that.
And let's face it, single ladies get stuff done. The women on this list are champions, go-getters, forces to be reckoned with. Nobody can hold them back. So let's celebrate these rad heroines as they show us how amazing being single can be.
1. Miss Marple from the Miss Marple books by Agatha Christie
2. Brienne of Tarth from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
3. Aaliyah from 'An Unnecessary Woman' by Rabih Alameddine
4. Susan from the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
A governess, then a school teacher, and the granddaughter of Death himself, Susan is not one to be trifled with. She has amazing hair that moves of its own accord and a magical voice that strikes fear into everyone's hearts, yet she's kindhearted and has friends of literally all shapes and sizes. She's fiercely independent, and she always knows what she wants and how to get it.
5. Kel from the Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce
6. Emma from 'Emma' by Jane Austen
Even though Emma Woodhouse eventually gets with someone, her misadventures playing matchmaker show how delightfully powerful being single can be. High-spirited and "slightly spoiled," Emma deftly spins all the drama around her, fixing up people left and right while remaining unattached. If she lived in modern times, she would definitely have her own reality TV show.
7. Ella from 'Bright Lines' by Tanwi Nandini Islam
8. Constance Kopp from 'Girl Waits with Gun' by Amy Stewart
In Girl Waits With A Gun, Constance and her sisters are single in the 1900s, a time when it's scandalous to be unmarried. But Constance has no time for the pressures of society, and she and her sisters embark on a dangerous mission to put gangsters behind bars. (The best part is that the Kopps were real women!).
9. Miss Jean Brodie from 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' by Muriel Spark
10. Li-lin from 'The Girl with Ghost Eyes' by M.H. Boroson
11. Sula from 'Sula' by Toni Morrison
While her childhood friend, Nel, settles down with a husband and children, Sula goes off to lead an independent life, shrugging off societal conventions. Sula's fierce quest for independence, sexual freedom, and strength in the face of scorn are part of what make this classic so powerful.