If you have been following The Book Cafe posts, you may have noticed about how I have been trying to read more female writers and how many of their novels have had a sense of growth and change in the female characters which makes them qualify as a bildungsroman novel. A bildungsroman novel can be loosely defined as a coming of age novel focusing on the protagonist’s formative years or a novel that highlights a physical or psychological growth and change.
Often, these bildungsroman novels have a male protagonist and their specific growth. But in this post I would like to highlight my top 5 picks of female bildungsroman novels!
Come take a look!
5. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez:
This is a heart wrenching true story of three Mirabel sisters who became legends because of their defiance during the gaunt Trujillo regime in Dominican Republic. It is not just about their rebellious years but also about their innocent childhood, their family life and how they grew into the symbols that they have become today.
Read my full review here.
4. Circle of Karma by Kunzang Choden:
This one is a debut novel in English from the renowned Bhutanese author, Kunzang Choden and she takes us to join Tshomo’s journey towards her acceptance of her self and her spiritual love.
Ito Junji’s horror mangas are well renowned but this famous Cat Diary takes a step away from the usual gory affairs and gives an autobiographical look at how Junji warmed up to two pet cats his fiance got into their lives.
Cat Diary starts with the author moving into a new house in Gifu with his fiance.
And that turns his world upside because his cat loving fiance brings her parents’ cat, Yon, from their house in Chiba.
Yon is a scary cat nicknamed, “the cat with an accursed face”, since it has an eerie print of a skull on its back.
Horror may be his forte, but the accursed face scares the living daylights out of Junji Ito in Cat Diary!
Quite ironical, yeah?
With pale pink illustrations, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi, gives a sharp look at how one person deals with the demons in her mind that the world creates and painfully overcomes them.
What is the book about?
The opening scene of the manga, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi is like a film since it focuses on an unexpected situation that the female protagonist of this manga is in and then she talks about the scene and how she ended up there.
Next page though, we see the ghosts that haunted her in the past ten years that led her to that opening situation: ghosts that we may all face such as not knowing where to go, not having a “something I belong to”, to much more serious ones such as self harm, eating disorders and depression.
I Hear the Sunspot by Yuki Fumino is one of the sweetest and most beautiful story on queer love between two boys who are poles apart.
What is the book about?
The manga, I Hear the Sunspot, is a beautiful blossoming story of how two school boys meet each other and slowly, tentatively, hesitatingly fall for each other. One is Kouhei, quiet and composed, and the other is Sagawa Taichi, who is the exact opposite: loud, boisterous and ready to pick a fight!
Kouhei has a hearing disability which makes his college life difficult as it does not help him socialise easily and in turn leads to him being labelled as being aloof.
Intrigued? Read more!
Manga craze anyone?
Death Note is quite a popular manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata that came out in 2003. It has often been voted as being the best manga in Japan and it has also quite a popular appeal along with a dedicated fandom worldwide.
But is it worth all the hype?
Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!
P.S. No Spoilers Ahead.