Unveiling Literary Treasures: Women Authors at Terrell and Holland Libraries

Women authors are pivotal to literary collections, enriching them with diverse perspectives and narratives that resonate across time. 

The WSU Terrell and Holland Libraries house a varied array of women-authored works that span literary reviews, research articles, and fiction books. The collection offers a glimpse into impactful women writers on literature and society. 

WSU biology major Anna Murphy said her favorite female authors were Kathleen Tessaro and Violaine Huisman. Tessaro wrote the 2016 book “Rare Objects,” adapted by actor Katie Holmes into a 2023 film. Huisman’s 2018 debut novel, “The Book of Mother,” won the Prix Françoise Sagan and was longlisted for the International Booker Prize. Both women emphasized the importance of honesty and vulnerability in their writing, helping readers feel less alone in their struggles.

Credit: https://www.kathleentessaro.com/
Photo of Kathleen Tessaro 

“Both these authors are real and don’t hesitate to talk about mental health and real stuff that people deal with,” Murphy said.

“Postpandemic writing is less guarded and calls attention to mental health,” she said. “I’ve noticed that authors who do write about emotions have gained popularity, and I love how honest and therapeutic their writing is.”

Terrell and Holland Libraries also have an array of digital collections curated by women. A 1980s issue of Vogue Magazine caught the eye of Lorena O’English, WSU social sciences and government information librarian. She worked at the University of Arizona circulation desk from 1986-87 at the time.                                                

“I found this really interesting article called ‘Fashion: What Every Woman Wants,’” O’English said. “There was a distinct phrase in the workout section of the article that stood out to me, and it described working out as physical jerks. This phrase was intriguing to me because I had never heard of workout movements called physical jerks before. I ended up making my own copy of the article because I loved it so much.”

“Terrell and Holland Libraries have many women authors who have written influential pieces,” said Murphy. “I think it is good and respectful that the libraries include women authors who have diverse perspectives, narratives, and insights into the human experience.”