HarperCollins Heroines

• Mar 28, 2018 •

As part of our month-long celebration of women’s writing, we’ve asked people HarperCollins wide who their favourite fictional heroine is and why.

Louis Patel – Marketing Executive, Harper Fiction

Favourite heroine: Rachel Samstat from Nora Ephron’s Heartburn

Favourite heroine? Easy: Rachel Samstat in Nora Ephron’s Heartburn – a thinly veiled fictionalisation of her marriage (and divorce) to Carl Bernstien. After Rachel learns of her husband’s infidelity, she embarks on a sinfully delicious plan to reveal and punish his betrayal. But whilst incredibly funny, what I love about Rachel is her honest, perceptive and self-deprecating takedowns of her husband’s ambition and the ridiculous clichés and absurdities of Washington DC’s well-off middle-class social set. Plus, the ending is incredibly satisfying and involves Rachel introducing a pudding to her husband’s face…

Rhiann Walton – Digital Marketing Executive, Group Marketing 

Favourite heroine: Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

“Reality is not only what we see on the surface; it has a magical dimension as well and … it is legitimate to enhance it and colour it to make our journey through life less trying.”

I love Eva for her unashamed recrafting of her own world. When things seem bleak (as they often do), Eva’s unique ability to weave and craft stories allows her to elevate herself above her own suffering. Through the art of storytelling this indomitable woman constructs her own view of reality that she is better pleased and more equipped to deal with. Eva Luna is an incredible heroine because she is tenacious, determined and strong as well as beautifully hopeful.

Martha Ashby – Editorial Director, Harper Fiction

Favourite heroine: all of Georgette Heyer’s heroines

This is slightly cheating, I realise, but Georgette Heyer wrote her regency romances between 1921-1974 and I swear you wouldn’t know it: her heroines are as forward-thinking, as modern, as courageous and as feminist as if they had been written in this decade. If they’re not defying the conventions of the age to remain unmarried out of choice (until they meet the irresistible hero, natch), they are protecting their families, lifting up other women, and standing up for themselves in all sorts of situations. There is a heroine for every mood I’m in and I’d save my Heyer collection from a burning house in a heartbeat.

Shrina Patel – Sales/Marketing Executive, Harper 360

Favourite heroine: Feyre from Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses

Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas’ series, for me, has been one of the most memorable characters. She’s a huntress but also a painter which is such a unique combination. Throughout the series she faces many challenges such as poverty, starvation, oppression, prison, war, to name a few, and yet she always rises to meet the challenges of her environment. She also has a knack for proving people who underestimate her wrong which I LOVE. Her character has so much depth that you can’t help but feel everything with her: her pain, joy, love, anger and so much more.

Yadira Da Trindade – Comms Assistant

Favourite heroine: Elphaba from Gregory Macguire’s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Elphaba was always a character I admired from a young age for thriving in her uniqueness. Rather than allow the rest of the world to dictate her place in society, she triumphs over adversity creating her own path of what love, popularity and success looks like. I think that so many women can relate to having to deal with pushing away social expectations and that’s why it’s so important to celebrate things like International Women’s Day. The way she fights for her place in the world and is never afraid to fight for what’s right, is something that I see in so many women every day and a character that should be celebrated amongst women.

Jon Athanasiou – Director of People, HR

Favourite heroine:  Daenerys Targaryen from GRR Martin’s Game of Thrones series

Daenerys has a greater purpose in life, can lead and influence all walks of life from any background simply because she is someone that is ready to sacrifice to protect the greater good. She also freed thousands of slaves. She possesses great empathy and love for people, (mostly) listens to others on complex issues – but importantly has an inner will, confidence and determination to make the world a better place and will never give up.

Check out some of the other heroines of HarperCollins UK!.

Looking to kick-start your feminist reading? See our 4th Estate recommendations. 

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