Galia Gichon

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Articles By Galia

Galia Gichon- Where I Write

By: Gabbi Coatsworth

 

The Accidental Suffragist, Galia Gichon’s debut novel takes place in New York from 1911-19. Helen Fox, a working mother as so many poor women were forced to be then, decides, after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, to fight for better conditions for women workers, and eventually for the vote. Meticulously researched, the novel paints a picture of life at that time and dialogue brings the author’s characters alive. I found the scene where the main character and her fellow protesters arrive in jail to be particularly vivid and dramatic. Being British, I didn’t know much about this period in American women’s history and learned a lot while being entertained. Knowing what a busy life Galia Gichon leads, I asked her where she found time to write. Here’s what she had to say.

I find it very hard to write at home.  I wish I could but I’m too distracted by domestic matters (i.e. kids, dog, meals). So, there are three places that work well for me to write:

The first is Metro-North! The train ride from Westport to Grand Central is a little over an hour each way which is a great block of time for me to work on a chapter. This week, I’m traveling, so my writing space is the plane.

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Women’s History In The Past and Today: Writing The Accidental Suffragist

By: Galia Gichon

 

When I decided to tackle the huge yet impassioned task of writing a novel, I immediately gravitated to historical fiction. It’s my reading genre of choice as it allows us to be inspired by what really happened and get the back story in an engaging mode.

The historical fiction books I researched and read – especially about heroic women – spanned World War II, famous figures such as Florence Nightingale, European independence wars, and the depression era in the United States. 

As a passionate women’s rights enthusiast, I’d always been fascinated by the Suffragists, from Susan B. Anthony and visions of women wearing white dresses and sashes marching down the avenues. My previous career as a financial analyst writer facilitated my research on historical fiction books written about Suffragists. 

I assumed there would be a wealth of comparative fiction to analyze for my proposed subject matter.  However, when I delved deeper, very few came up in my research and practically none in the popular arena with suffragists as the main subject. It only confirmed that this was the area I wanted to explore and thus “The Accidental Suffragist” was conceived and created.     

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How to Use Economic Class to Develop Characters

By: Galia Gichon

 

We all know that conflict makes good fiction. For me, it began when I chose to write my debut novel in historical fiction about the suffragists. Their tireless cause spanned more than 50 years before the 19th Amendment was passed by Congress in 1919.

As I researched the historical details, looking for a fictional angle with conflict that would enthrall a reader, I learned mostly wealthy women were at the helm of the movement. They were courageous, brave and heroic, devoting their lives to the suffragist cause: fighting for women to get the right to vote. Yet at times it was hard to feel compassion for them; who wanted to root for a group of affluent women?

 

Looking at the Economic Class of Characters
 

The upper socioeconomic class of these women glaringly stood out. They did have to fight within their own community (particularly their husbands and family), but they didn't have to worry about who was taking care of their children, cooking their meals, or cleaning their palatial homes. It was soon evident that conflict was apparent through the disparity in the main characters' economic classes. The women from these different economic classes did share a common goal of fighting for women to get the right to vote, but they traveled very diverse paths on the road there, had different rationales for joining, and went about the fight in their distinctive manners.

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