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02/12/2013 11:20 am ET Updated Mar 10, 2015

Life Lessons From 'Middlemarch,' 'Little Women,' And Other Books We Love

By Amy Shearn

Ask any reader her favorite literary heroine, and she'll stare off into the distance, smiling, then immediately start reeling off names and anecdotes: Katniss! Elizabeth Bennett! As Anne Patchett put it, "Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings." Here's what nine of our favorite fictional women have taught us about our own, very real lives. Enjoy these literary life lessons.

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BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Life Lessons From Fictional Women We Love
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