Half-wild Lyra from Northern Lights was the first female character who felt real to Jane Gleeson-White. Then she met Elena Ferrante’s ‘ferocious, filthy, quicksilver’ Lila, a more complex version.
Candice Carty-Williams’ Queenie navigates dating as a Black woman, living in a Black body, and what it’s like to straddle two cultures while never really feeling as though you fit.
Edwina Preston tells why her favourite literary heroine is Seven Little Australians’ Judy Woolcot and her ‘bone-true authenticity of self’ – beating fellow tomboys Jo March and Anne Shirley.
John Banville calls Mrs Eckdorf in O'Neill’s Hotel, ‘an inexplicably neglected 20th-century masterpiece’. Carol Lefevre shares her fascination with William Trevor’s ‘crazed’ photographer Ivy Eckdorf.