Girl book titles

Girl used in literary titles

Book picture girl in title

Just some of the girl title books Image: John New

The word girl is appearing everywhere in titles of literary works, including this observational piece of my own from 2014. Why did I use “girl” is perhaps the question I need to ask myself? I could easily have used woman in the title instead, from my memory of her age that might even have been more appropriate, but it didn’t feel right when I wrote it originally and still doesn’t now in revisiting the work, making a few minor edits and posting it here. Was it then, and still is, a subconscious decision based on the commonality of the word in titles since the popularity of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or any of the variations of The Girl on the Train titlesHowever, the origins of girl and train titles dates back over a century to operatic works written in German and performed in Vienna therefore there is clearly more to it than just the recent works. Girl is an odd word, even my mother at 93 still refers, when going out in a group with female companions, as “out with the girls” so it isn’t just a sexist, male, view of the feminine ideal. In reality I’m guessing that as a word it feels friendlier in usage than woman in the same way that the, now ubiquitous, guy(s) and the earlier chap sound warmer than man or bloke when describing the male.

With regard to the item itself, included, below just a random observation from one day on a bus ride.

The girl on the 902

A random chance meeting
on the Bristol Park and Ride.
She, sitting opposite, a few rows down.
Stunning redhead, powerful looking
but so tired, the stress lines,
forming dark shadows
spoiling her demeanour
A haunted, frightened look;
you could read that fright
see it in her eyes.
Outbound, park bound,
homeward bound
but can we assume;
and even if homeward
to what, to whom?

We didn’t speak.
So no way to know,
the story left unlearned.
T’was just random chance
That meeting of strangers
on the Park and Ride.
But what could she tell,
what would she tell,
that girl on the 902?

From an observation on the Bristol P&R service 902 – 7 August 2014.
(As revised 26 Feb 2017)

The image is by John New. No copyright is claimed for the photographed works.

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