Two women I greatly admire passed away this week, and I want to pay a little tribute.
Beverly Sills -- Bubbles, as she was called -- inspired me and about a zillion others, not only with her flawless coluratura voice and dramatic artistry, but also with her resilience and determination. She met and conquered great challenges in her personal life. And she became artistic director of New York City Opera at time when women were still working hard to be taken seriously as movers/shakers in the music world. Incidentally, she pretty much began the trend of bringing opera (back to) the masses when she instituted "supertitles" above the stage during operatic productions that let folks read English translations of the arias, etc. Very gutsy, and a great boon to getting more folks turned on to classical music.
Kathleen Woodiwiss (shown here with son, Heath) was a similarly artistically bold woman. She wrote meaty historicals which were brave in that they spoke to women's fantasies during an era in which HEAs, heroes serving up Alpha-sized emotional justice, and women who dreamed of hot guys partnering with them to make their lives happier was viewed as anathema to the Second Wave. Many years later, Feminists and scholars who eschewed the themes and occurrences in Woodiwiss' novels are re-thinking their earlier beliefs -- finding her novels liberated women by supporting their right to choose what turned them on, what they found romantic and emotionally satisfying.
Woodiwiss influenced a new wave of romance readers and writers, and I believe we owe her props for paving the way for what we today call romance fiction.
Are you feeling Woodiwiss' loss as greatly as I am? What have her books meant to you? Have you lost another heroine or hero of yours recently you'd like to remember here?
Encore! This was sent to me by Bella Marilyn (Playground Monitor) from an Inet thread, posted by Kathleen's son, Heath:
"Hello. I am very sorry to inform you all of the death of my mother Kathleen. She took the death of my brother a bit harder than we thought and the cancer came back with a vengeance. She passed away Friday morning at 0630 in Princeton, MN. I just want to thank you all for all of your support and being such great fans. My Mom was amazed at all of the people that supported her. Her final book is done, but not finished. We will be trying to polish it up for her... We all want this to be her greatest book ever. Thank you again for all of your support.