1. Blanche DuBois
Why Blanche makes the list: shameless flirting, lurid past, refuses to abandon her refined sensibilities even as she descends into ruin.
2. Zelda Fitzgerald
Why Zelda makes the list: formidable Southern belle, dubbed the original American flapper, became a feminist icon.
3. Miss Daisy
Daisy Werthan: Did you have the air-conditioning checked? I told you to have the air-conditioning checked.
Hoke Colburn: I had the air-conditioning checked. I don’t know what for. You never allow me to turn it on.
Daisy Werthan: Hush up!
Why Miss Daisy makes the list: sass for days, fierce independence, reforms her own views on racism and befriends Hoak.
4. Scarlett O’Hara
Why Scarlett makes the list: Scarlett is EVERYTHING. Her character can go from frivolous and vain to determined and badass in less time than it takes you to say “there’s always Tara.”
5. Becky Thatcher
Becky Thatcher: Oh Tom. So I’m not the first one you’ve been engaged to. Philanderer!
Tom Sawyer: What?
Becky Thatcher: Well that’s what you are.
Tom Sawyer: Yeah but what does it mean?
Becky Thatcher: I’m not sure. But even if I did know I wouldn’t tell you.
Why Becky makes the list: girl knows what she wants and knows how to get it. Coquettish, doesn’t panic when she gets lost in a cave, probably the only girl who could keep badboy Tom under control.
6. Daisy Buchanan
“She doesn’t look like her father,” explained Daisy. “She looks like me. She’s got my hair and shape of the face. I’m glad of that.”
Tom came back into the room preceded by four gin rickeys that clicked full of ice.
“What did you say?” he demanded. “That Pammy doesn’t look like me?”
“Well she doesn’t. She looks just like me.”
“I know. But you say it as if she’d escaped some curse. What’s the idea?”
Daisy sat back upon the couch.
—Trimalchio by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Why Daisy makes the list: “Is there any female character in American literature more coquettish and coveted than Daisy Fay Buchanan? She’s the most desirable debutante, the ever-evading maid. She’s warm, feverish, thrilling, intoxicating—a siren, an enchantress, a blossoming flower. She’s Galahad’s chalice; she’s Guinevere and Grail. She’s the quintessential Southern belle, cool in her white dress with her white mansion and her little white mobile. She’s the enchanted object, the great American dream, all bright eyes and a voice full of money—and of course she’s the light, that green light, drawing men, mothlike, to her flame. She’s the golden girl and the incorruptible angel and all the Platonic ideals that artists and poets throughout the great ages have required their muses to be.” (From The Daily Beast)
7. Sookie Stackhouse
Why Sookie makes the list: always polite (even when covered in blood), meticulous housekeeper (usually cleaning up blood), never lets anything keep her down for long, hard worker, good hostess. Just don’t piss her off.
8. Leelee Satterfield
Why Leelee makes the list: draws on the Southern grit and inner strength she didn’t know she had to run her inn, change her attitude, and reinvent her life. Read more about Lisa Patton’s Dixie Series here (http://us.macmillan.com/series/DixieSeries) and check out her new volume SOUTHERN AS A SECOND LANGUAGE.