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
Posts Tagged: women writers
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.
Over at the Ploughshares blog, Cathe Shubert discusses the historic nature of sexism in the publishing industry, and urges her readers to keep searching for an early canon of women writers:
Despite the many gains we have made in including women in our understanding of the history of literature, many students graduate with the false understanding that women did not really write until the nineteenth century–that they just couldn’t.
Galm’s writing mimics the hyperreality of dreams, and the novel’s penetrative heat is palpable in descriptions of highway rest stops and “the flatness of the valley…the mountains in the far distance like figments behind the haze.”
In a review of Ruth Galm’s acclaimed debut, Into the Valley, ELLE magazine explores how the novel is a “subtle and complicated exploration of what it means to be a woman.”...more
It’s difficult to break free. It’s difficult to think about what’s next and face the unknown.
Over at The Barnes & Noble Review, The Rumpus’s Essays Editor Emeritus Roxane Gay interviews the talented Karolina Waclawiak about her latest novel, The Invaders—women in fiction, sense of place, and the art of breaking free....more
For Pictorial at Jezebel, Kelly Faircloth explores the public imagination’s view of the romance writer, focusing on the genre’s boom in the 1980s and the modern-day romance writer with her eye on the business of writing.
[The Romance Writers of America’s annual conference] reminded me of something like Mary Kay, or Avon—an empire built on the talents of women hunting a flexible opportunity to bring home some cash doing fulfilling work....more
This week, two underappreciated masters of the weird and uncanny are finally getting their due attention. That’s right, we’re talking about Clarice Lispector and Shirley Jackson, two literary powerhouses who wrote contemporaneously in different styles, different languages, even different hemispheres, but who have some striking similarities....more
Women writers, like women activists, have always done a considerable amount of the intellectual heavy lifting required for innovation. And yet try to find many of these women in bookstores: Kay Boyle, Grace Paley, Janet Flanner, Laurie Colwin, Meredith Tax, Dawn Powell, Meridel LeSeur, Colette, Nella Larsen, Paule Marshall, Dorothy West, Mina Loy, Josephine Herbst, Sonia Sanchez, Gwendolyn Brooks, Helen Adam, Alcott’s non-fiction, etc.
When literary magazines publish “Women’s Issues,” they can run the danger of making women into a theme. As if fiction by and about women is a curiosity, something to enjoy for a moment, in one issue a year, before returning to your regularly scheduled old white men programming....more
Because…the Internet exists! Because is this really the first time in your two (or, heaven forbid, three) literate decades on this planet that it’s occurred to you to seek out brain padding by AN ENTIRE HALF of the population?
Alanna Okun explains why she doesn’t bother with guys who don’t read books by women (and why Harry Potter doesn’t count)....more
I have heard writers take a stand that they are above Twitter and Instagram, superior for not participating in social media. It’s true the self-promotion feels inauthentic and tacky, but it can be brave to participate in the conversation with good intention.
But let’s talk about it! What if? What if we changed things or at least considered changing things?
Jami Attenberg: I feel like I could talk to you about vaginas all day, Judy.
Is there anything you wish you could change about publishing? Is there anything where you think, god they’ve been doing this forever, why can’t they just figure it out already?
The latest VIDA count might have some disappointing if unsurprising results, but there are empowered women involved in the literary community if you know where to look. Danielle Lazarin compiled a list of journals run by women over at The Review Review and reflects on her choice to focus on these journals:
Most of my writer friends are women.
The message sent to women that what they are writing isn’t important or serious enough is not a new one. It is as old as literature itself. And its persistence has everything to do with how women’s literature is treated in college and university classrooms and, in turn, how it is treated in the literary world.
There were more than 458,000 self-published titles in 2013, an increase of more than 437% since 2008. And when it comes to DIY publishing, women seem to be the bigger beneficiaries, reports the Guardian. An analysis of self-published titles by FicShelf reveals that 67% of the top-ranked titles were written by women....more
I found a precedent for girls like me in the work of confessional poets Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. They represented a respectable compromise between “real literature” and my irrepressible tendency to let the personal creep into my writing. I related intensely to the ferocity and focus in their work, but I soon felt the hinges of a trap closing around me.
Amy Shearn makes the case for the struggle of author Dorothy Miller Richardson.
As much as I do love my dear prolific weirdo Knausgaard, he hasn’t really done anything all that revolutionary. In fact, exactly a century ago, England saw the beginnings of a similarly expansive novel brimming with what Ben Lerner called Knausgaard’s “radical inclusiveness … style-less style … apparently equal fascination with everything.” And no, I don’t mean Proust or Joyce, although at the time the writer was often mentioned in the same breath.
If she is a writer of colour; ask how her race has impacted upon her writing. Try to make it both your first and last question, after the attractiveness and skin thing.
If she is blonde; mention it.
If she is slim; mention it.
2014 may not have been an especially good year for female writers in general, but it apparently saw a rise in prizes and accolades for women writing science fiction. Unfortunately, this is but a small step forward toward gender equality within the genre....more
Vela Magazine is hoping to raise $25,000 to pay its women writers and editors. With less than a week left, they have $7,059 to pry from your gender-netural credit cards....more
A feminist novel, then, is one that not only deals explicitly with the stories and thereby the lives of women; it is also a novel that illuminates some aspect of the female condition and/or offers some kind of imperative for change and/or makes a bold or unapologetic political statement in the best interests of women.