Sunday, January 10, 2010

Womyn of the Week - Mette Ivie Harrison

I have a job where I sort of tutor a teenage girl and we were in the library trying to pick out a book for me to read to her. This is a girl who does not read a lot and I really wanted a book that's both new and has a strong female character. What I did not want is to be reading is a cheesy teenage romance and I was really afraid that that was what my tutee was going to pick. I knew that she likes fantasy and the librarian recommended a book called, "The Princess and The Bear" by Mette Ivie Harrison and I am glad she did. The book is about a hound that turns into a princess and a king that turns into a bear and the friendship that forms between them.

I like this book, because the female character is incredibly strong. She is not afraid to get dirty, loves physical activity, and how she loves to hunt is described in detail. She is the most logical character in the book. It is absolutely thrilling to read a book aloud to a teenage girl where the role model is an actual role model and not a "moony"-eyed, overly romantic fool.

I commend Harrison for writing a book with such a strong female character. Apparently, "The Princess and The Bear" is the second book in a trilogy, with the first being, "The Princess and The Hound." The third will be out in April this year and is called, "The Princess and The Snowbird." I will probably be reading all of these books, as reading about such a strong heroine just makes me happy! You can even read an excellent article for any aspiring writer, "How to Write a Strong Heroine," by Harrison.

Harrison herself is a strong womyn, both metaphorically and physically. On her website, she talks about loving to compete in triathlons and about becoming an Ironman. Even more importantly, she talks about how one can overcome harmful ideas from childhood about what success is. Success is not about the having the ability to measure up to someone else's ideas about their version of success, but rather, it is trying out a bunch of different things and finding out for yourself what your bliss truly is and then following it to the best of your ability.

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