In honour of Galentine’s Day (what’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year!), I decided to focus on a topic that is overlooked far too often in fiction: friendship between women. We all know about the Bechdel test, but try putting together a list of books where female friendship is the focus of the story, I dare you. Bonus points if the women in question are not related. It is practically impossible! That said, here are some of my favourite fictional examples of female friendship – the good and the bad. Some of these duos are attached at the hip for life, whereas other relationships go sour in the worst possible way.
If you can think of more titles, please leave a comment below!
“She remembers one phase, when [the twins] were, what? Four, five, six, seven? It went on for a while. They’d decided that all the characters in every story had to be female. Winnie the Pooh was female, Piglet was female, Peter Rabbit was female. If Roz slipped up and said “he,” they would correct her: She! She! they would insist. All of their stuffed animals were female, too. Roz still doesn’t know why. When she asked them, the twins would give her looks of deep contempt. “Can’t you see?” they would say.”
Literature and the visual arts have a long history of inspiring one another, from John Everett Millais painting Shakespeare’s Ophelia in 1852 to the plot of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer-winning novel revolving around “The Goldfinch” (1654) by Fabritius.
The books on this list either have artist protagonists or centre around art itself.