Have you heard about the 2015 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon? It’s aim is to increase the number of female participants sharing knowledge on Wikipedia, and in turn, teach readers and researchers more about important women in the arts and sciences that have been ignored or left out.
We here at Book Riot came up with a list of women writers who need
entries (or more extensive entries) on Wikipedia (though there are SO
MANY MORE). Do you know about these particular writers, and can you give
them the web-presence they deserve?
(For most of my information, I consulted the Literary Reference
Center Database, which should be available through most public and
Wikipedia page to create
Eloise Bibb (1878-1928?): According to the Digital Schomburg African American Women Writers of the 19th c. page, Bibb was born in New Orleans to a prosperous African-American family. Her first book, Poems,
was published in 1895, and includes “To the Sweet Bard of the Women’s
Club,” a paean to fellow writer Alice Dunbar-Nelson. A graduate of
Oberlin College’s Preparatory Academy, and Howard University’s Teacher’s
College, Bibb ultimately took a leadership role in Howard’s Colored
Social Settlement House. Upon her marriage in 1911, Bibb moved to Los
Angeles, and then New York City, where she died around 1928. Not only
does Bibb not have a Wikipedia page, she doesn’t even have an entry in
the comprehensive Literature Resource Center database. However, with a
little bit of research, I’m sure anyone interested in 19th century
African American literature could find more information about her, and
discuss more of her writing.
Wikipedia pages to update
Bebe Moore Campbell (1950-2006):
a successful African-American novelist, essayist, and writer of
children’s books, non-fiction, and radio plays, Campbell dealt with
topics like mental illness and family issues. Her page
offers a brief overview of Campbell’s personal and writing lives, and
then lists “selected works” and one reference. And that’s it. How about
some in-depth exploration of Campbell’s style and interests, and some
analysis of her bestsellers (Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the Comeback Choir, and What You Owe Me)?
Margaret Coel (b.1937): A chronicler of the American West, Coel (born in Colorado) is well-known for her Wind River
mystery series set among the Arapaho in Wyoming. Her award-winning
biography of the Arapaho Chief Left Hand and memoir-history of
railroading in Colorado were named as two of the best 100 books on
Colorado history by the Colorado Historical Society. Coel graduated with
a degree in journalism from Marquette University and wrote for the Boulder Daily Camera. Her page includes a paltry mini-bio and a list of her works (and one reference). Come on, now. We can do better than that.
Marele Day (b.1947): Day
is an Australian writer of mystery novels, most known for her four
novels that feature the country’s first female private investigator-
Claudia Valentine. Day has also written a screenplay and edited a
“how-to” book about writing crime fiction. Her page screams out for further discussion of her Valentine books, especially her brilliance in expressing a sense of place.
Janet Campbell Hale (b.1946)- A
American writer living on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation in De
Smet, Idaho, Hale is known for her award-winning poetry and her novels,
which explore Native-American issues and identity. Her page includes
just a brief biographical note and a few references, as well as some
links. A more extensive discussion of her poetry and novels would
greatly enhance it.
Cynthia Kadohata (b.1956):
Kadohata is a Japanese-American children’s writer and winner of the
Newberry Medal in 2005, as well as the National Book Award in 2013. She
has written both literary fiction and young-adult fiction, some of which
explores the role of Japanese-Americans in the U.S. after WWII. Her page would benefit from even brief discussions of each of her novels and her experimentation with different genres.
E.D.E.N. Southworth (1819-1899): I have a particular affection for Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth, having read her recently-republished The Hidden Hand (1888) and her first novel, Retribution (1849), which I discuss here.
Southworth was wildly popular in the U.S. during the 19th century, with
much of her writing appearing first in serial form. The biographical
information on her page
doesn’t adequately reflect the turmoil of her marriage and ultimate
separation from her husband, a trope that she explores in her fiction.
(first posted on Book Riot 2/27/15)