When she realized her local Planned Parenthood was struggling to stay open, author and board member Lauren Groff recruited two-dozen other writers to auction off various literary swag in a fundraising event called The Choice Auction. The group, which included acclaimed writers like Roxane Gay, Emma Straub, and Meg Wolitzer, raised over $21,000 for the cause....more
Posts Tagged: women writers
Laura Miller opines that male-authored crime novels are a bit too predictable. Instead…
I’ve found instead that the crime novels I open with the keenest anticipation these days are almost always by women. These are books that trespass the established boundaries of their genre, adding a dash — or more than a dash — of fabulism, or lingering over characters who used to serve as the mere furniture of the old-style hard-boiled fiction.
Writing may be hard work, but it isn’t the kind that pays the bills. Tillie Olsen’s seminal Silences wonders just what kind of work writing really is, and who has the privilege to do it:
Though access to education has improved for women and for members of the working class (categories that intersect) the lessons of “Silences” still resonate.
More than 5 percent of the messages a woman receives online will be abusive or derogatory in nature, on average. Piers Morgan, whom researchers rank as the No. 1 receiver of hate tweets per day, gets 8.4 percent negative comments — putting him not that far ahead of the average female journalist when it comes to fielding vitriol....more
Mitt Romney ignited a feminist revolution during the 2012 presidential debates when he said, “I went to a number of women’s groups and said: ‘Can you help us find folks?’ And they brought us whole binders full of women.”
Throw VIDA’s pie charts highlighting “gender disparity in major literary publications and book reviews” into the mix, and you’ll grasp the necessity of Out of the Binders, a two-day solution/conference at NYU of workshops and panels “on/for/by women in the literary arts and film/TV” (which is probably you if you’re reading this post), aimed ”to empower women and gender non-conforming writers with tools, connections, and strategies to advance their careers” (and enhance cup size)....more
The overall theme of feminism, for me, is not about having it all. It’s about having what you want and being honest about who you are. It’s about respecting who you are and what you do....more
In an excerpt from her book The Shelf, Phyllis Rose illustrates the systematic dismissal of women writers through the imagined figure of Prospero’s Daughter: wealthy and educated yet burdened by the demands of a family life whose quotidian challenges, having monopolized her time, become central concerns in her work....more
I can confirm, based on my own reading list this spring, that there is no shortage of fiction set in Brooklyn. In fact, you could almost say that the Lethems and, more recently, the Lins have been supplanted: It’s been a dazzling couple of years for the women of Brooklyn.
At Guernica, Alexandria Peary observes a fine but lethal distinction between being declined and being rejected, a difference that had very real effects on the literary ambitions of nineteenth-century female writers. While to decline a submission implies thoughtful deliberation over that particular work, rejection is an all-encompassing denouncement of something larger: a category or, in this case, a gender:
Women writers in the nineteenth century—when creative writing really got going as a possible profession—faced more rejections than declines, though probably more than a spoonful of dejection.
Although plenty of critics and academics have done a wonderful job reinterpreting what it means to be “the canon,” there are still many readers in the US who, consciously or subconsciously, believe that men have contributed most of what we know to be literature.
Novelist Jennifer Weiner has long been an outspoken critic of literary sexism, vocally demanding respect for herself and other female authors and pushing back against stodgy heavyweights like Jonathan Franzen.
But how much dismissal of Weiner can be attributed to contempt for women’s issues, and how much can be attributed to the fact that her books often have predictable plot arcs and formulaic happy endings?...more
I hate it when men talk about Mary Gaitskill. I call for a permanent moratorium on men gassily discoursing on Mary Gaitskill....more
In “honor” of David Gilmour’s comments to a Hazlitt interviewer about how he refused to teach books by female authors, Rumpus contributor Michelle Dean rounded up some other literary men’s contributions to the field of misogyny.
From Hemingway blaming all men’s problems on women’s diseased brains to T....more
In the July 3, 2000 New Yorker, the debut fiction issue, there was a photo of a young woman on the steps of a brownstone. Her story was terrifying, erotic, and not quite like anything I’d read before. Since that story she’s published four books. I have read them all with growing puzzlement. My rising discomfort lies in the waning interest in her work....more
It’s not just the frighteningly misogynistic diatribes in the comments section—several other forces conspire to make life harder for female writers and journalists.
For example: “The most successful branded journalists stake out provocative claims frequently and aggressively, without worrying too much about whether they’ll eventually be proved wrong,” but for women, eventually being proven wrong can be a devastating career setback....more
As we’ve documented pretty extensively before, arts organization VIDA has done a lot to expose gender inequality in the writing world with its annual count comparing female bylines to male ones in a number of publications.
The New York Review of Books‘ ratio has been less than stellar for the past three years, with female reviewers and female authors reviewed never rising above 20% of the total....more
As part of its ongoing battle to get women writers the recognition they deserve, Vela has put together a ”list of women writers of various forms of creative nonfiction that future list-makers and anthologists…might peruse and thereby make their “bests” and “greats” better and greater, their collections more representative of the world we live in.”...more
Attention, New York readers who love literary criticism and women and literary criticism by women: come to SHARP: A Discussion of Women and Criticism tomorrow night at 7:00 at the Bookstore Cafe!
The event will feature female critics, including Rumpus contributors like Michelle Orange and Michelle Dean, in conversation about “the women they’ve been inspired by, the challenges of being a woman of sharp mind and pen, and the question of whether women have a distinct purpose as critics at all.”...more
We reached out to several of the worst offenders to ask where they thought they had gone wrong…but got very little in the way of responses. So we decided, instead, to reach out to the editors of the publications that actually had managed to show a relatively gender-equitable byline distribution in 2012.
An average American newspaper-reader in the first decade of the last century immediately understood, if he read that something was “of the Mary MacLane type,” that this name was shorthand for outsized self-absorption of a specifically feminine nature....more
It’s rare for female writers to receive recognition when it’s due.
We want to know which women writers you like “best,” who you think belongs on those reading lists and what works you wish got more attention.
VIDA, the organization that tracks the status of women in the writing world, has posted their annual count of female writers published in major literary magazines in comparison to male writers published in the same places.
This year, they’ve posted side-by-side statistics for 2010, 2011, and 2012, all in easily readable bar-graph form....more
“As a novelist you are in a God-like relation to what you create. You are omnipotent and the question of potency is embarrassing for men....more
The deciders of the Publishers Weekly Best 10 list “ignored gender and genre and who had the buzz.” Which is kind of brilliant in a way. Because everyone knows if you ignore things, you can maybe make those things go away....more