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Don’t know Gary Stu from Murray Sue? It’s OK, you’re still Mary ...


Don’t know Gary Stu from Murray Sue? It’s OK, you’re still Mary Sue

If you hate yourself for not knowing something you feel you should, welcome to my planet

Sunday Times books editor

Sometimes I feel so ignorant for not knowing something I believe I should have heard about years ago. So please bear with me if you have heard of the term “Mary Sue”.

It’s something I recently came across on a discussion board about a Sydney Sheldon book and his heroine. The person wrote on the book subreddit: “I read the novel The Other Side of Midnight. I’m sorry but what? His characters are so perfect. I mean they are way way too perfect. The women who are depicted are so superficial. They are good looking, intelligent, diplomatic, smart and sometimes I’m just low-key jealous of how non human they are.” Someone replied: “There’s a term for such characters — Mary Sue.” 

I had to do a little digging to find out more about it, only to find, to my horror, that it is a well-known trope, mostly used in genre fiction. ..

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