Saturday, January 18, 2014


As I dig deeper into the lives of Amy E. Blanchard and Ida Waugh I find myself increasingly interested in the subject of women's friendships. One book usually leads to another, and there are so many that I want to read that I have to be very careful which rabbit hole I choose to slip down and for how long.

I bought a book at the thrift store a very long time ago, but just recently unearthed it from the bulging shelf of my reference books. Carolyn G. Heilbrun (a.k.a. Amanda Cross) wrote Writing a Woman's Life in 1988; it is a veritable wealth of inspiration and information, especially where my own research is concerned. Not only did it provide me with many new points of reference, it reinforced the importance of sharing Amy and Ida's friendship with the world.

As she discusses the importance of uncovering friendships between women, particularly those of the past, she writes "If one sets out to survey the annals of ends by reading...of male friendships. If the friendships of women are considered at all, and that is rare enough, they intrude into the male account the way a token woman is reluctantly included in a male community."

What struck me to the core, to the very heart of my passion for uncovering the story of Amy and Ida was this particular excerpt: "The sign of female friendship is not whether friends are homosexual or heterosexual, lovers or not, but whether they share the wonderful energy of work in the public sphere. These, some of them hidden, are the friends whom biographers must seek out."

Amy and Ida worked in the public sphere as they lived, with a drive and passion that to not work would be unthinkable, just as to not share their life with each other would be equally unbearable. BFFs as they say nowadays...Best Friends Forever.


Nina Badzin said...

Meganne, stories about friendship are my favorite topic in novels--more so than romantic relationships or even family ones. One I read in the past five years that I really liked was Leah Stewart's The Myth of You and Me. It was very well done.

Meganne Fabrega said...

I haven't read that but I will have to check it out. I am choosing the next book for our book group and I am going to choose a novel about friendship between women, there is so much to discuss around that topic.

craftivore said...

MWF seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche may seem like a fluff title but in between all her efforts to find friends is great research about female friendships. Would definitely give the book group plenty to talk about, it's easy to look down on the concept but the author is a good writer.