Concerning (Girl) Hobbits: 5 Gender-Flipped Classics

“Book” by Sam Howzit. Image via Flickr.

Last month, Slate writer Michelle Nijhuis wrote about reading The Hobbit aloud to her 5-year-old daughter and, at her daughter’s request, making Bilbo a she instead of a he. Nijhuis had some interesting observations and insight about the way male and female leads are often portrayed in fiction, and about how imagining the same character with a gender reassignment can provide some balance.

I found out about the Slate piece this past weekend because of this article in Barnes and Noble’s blog, in which Kat Rosenfeld speculates about gender-flips in other classic novels. Since I’m bored and I can’t think of anything else to write about this week it struck me as a thought-provoking writing exercise, I’ll play along.  Here are five literary classics I’ve reimagined with some switches in preferred pronouns. Unlike Rosenfeld’s list, I’m imagining these stories with absolutely nothing changed except the gender of one or more major characters.

Who gets flipped? The whole cast

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