Most of these sites were beloved exactly for that same dual sense of security and inclusion members loved — and when that sense was lost, from time or toxicity or something else, the woman who made them moved on to another new place.
Posts Tagged: women writers
Many poets—male poets especially—are secretly anxious that someone will call their poetry a frivolous, feminine pursuit. And instead of embracing the potential charge of frivolity—allowing themselves to be free of it or even to toy with it—those same poets draw lines in the sand with real-and-serious-capital-P-Poetry on one side, and lesser, feminized poetry on the other....more
Writing as art can be what economists call a “non-market” activity. The time we spend writing poems or novels, like the time we spend doing laundry, is usually time not spent earning a dollar, even if we hope to see payment for that work down the line.
For Lenny Letter, Alexis Coe writes on the gendered politics behind book acknowledgements, including acknowledgment of emotional labor, research, and the expectations behind praise for female and male partners....more
Over at Lit Hub, Anne Boyd Rioux discusses the literary genius of the 19-century novelist Constance Fenimore Woolson, and the American tradition of “the diminution of women writers” that continues today:
Woolson’s literary star faded quickly after her death in 1894, a time of shifting literary tastes.
Can women really have it all? Like, all of it? But how could they possibly have multiple things at the same time? How can they even think human thoughts after they’ve subsumed their corporeal selves into an all-encompassing prison of motherhood?...more
It’s not that the books that get someone into the “serious reader” club are all or even mostly by men these days. But the books that get you kicked out of the club are almost exclusively written by women.
Hannah Engler writes for Book Riot on “women’s literature” and the still-unevolved stereotype of the Woman Reader....more
Gay Talese, well-known for being a pioneer of the New Journalism along with writers like Hunter S. Thompson and Truman Capote, apparently couldn’t name any woman writer who’d inspired him when asked at a recent Boston University event. Amy Littlefield, a journalist in the audience, said:
And then there was a pause and he said, “None.
Henry James found in the stories of Constance Fenimore Woolson “a remarkable minuteness of observation and tenderness of feeling on the part of one who evidently did not glance and pass, but lingered and analyzed.”
There’s a roll call of rediscovered and canonical women writers at Salon....more
I had considered envying men before—I pretend to envy things like their higher incidence of ungrounded confidence and monomania, but I don’t really envy those things, and I’m not sure I even believe in them…
In an excerpt published in the New Yorker from her forthcoming book, Rivka Galchen writes about her first experience of real gender envy....more
Susan Burton profiles Dana Spiotta for the New York Times. Burton praises Spiotta’s work for its “ambitious” subject matter that explores the way we are “shaped” by the material world. In addition, the article discusses how Spiotta’s work has been gendered, and “cited in discussions about whether culture properly values the work of female novelists.”...more
Rachel Vorona Cote writes about how people use beauty to undermine the words of women:
I understood, as I continue to understand with distressing nuance, that too many men navigate the terror of women’s brilliance by reducing them to skin and bone.
Over at NPR, authors Claire Vaye Watkins and Marlon James talk about Watkins’s recent essay, “On Pandering,” which she describes as:
…internalizing the sexism that I’d encountered in the writing world, and the world beyond, and adjusting what I wrote accordingly so that it would be more well-received … by the people I wanted to impress, which was a white male voice that I had in my mind.
Call it “Goldfinching,” after Vanity Fair’s 2014 yes-but-is-it-art interrogation as to whether Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer prize-winning, mega-bestselling book The Goldfinch is or is not literature. It’s the process by which a popular and previously well-regarded novel and, more importantly, its readers, are taken to the woodshed, usually by a critic who won’t hesitate to congratulate himself on his courage, as if dismissing popular things that women like requires some special kind of bravery—as if it doesn’t happen all day, every day.
It’s a bear to try to get contemporary Cuban literature, especially by women.
To remedy the dearth of books written by female Cuban authors on American campuses, Sara Cooper, a professor of Spanish and multicultural and gender studies at Chico State University in California, decided she’d have to do it herself....more
If a writer isn’t familiar with the literature of her own country as it unfolds in her own time, she misses out on dialogue, on contact with the path. She must dare to measure herself against the best!
In an essay for Electric Literature’s series on “The Writing Life Around the World,” Danish author Dorthe Nors shares her thoughts on the literary scene in Denmark, wanderlust, and lone wolves....more
Helen McClory, author of On the Edges of Vision, took to Twitter yesterday to challenge male book reviewers, writers, and readers to talk about contemporary women authors. The viral tweet elicited plenty of responses from male writers looking to demonstrate how in touch they are with contemporary female authors....more
This year’s judges of the National Book Award seem to agree that women’s nonfiction writing is abundant and prize-worthy. The 2015 nonfiction longlist includes seven female-authored books, out of 10, the largest percentage of female nominees in the prize’s history. The longlist also contains two books by people of color, compared to last year’s one.