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.
Swati Khurana talks with novelist and translator Idra Novey about the challenges and joys of translation, the idiosyncrasies of language, the inextricable reception of women’s writing and women’s bodies, and much 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. From Clarice Lispector and Lucia Berlin, to Zora Neale […]
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 […]
Writers Dorthe Nors and Jarett Kobek discuss politics, Nors’s life in Denmark, writing on the Internet, women writers, and more over at Electric Literature: When you said that about a woman writing I Hate the Internet and ATTA, I felt in my stomach that you were right. If I Hate the Internet was written by […]
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.”
Sixteen female authors tell Susie Schnall about their experiences and struggles with work-life balance, and offer some wonderful advice to us all: I think it’s unrealistic to max out in every area of your life simultaneously—there’s just not time for everything. But if you’re able to prioritize certain elements of your life during certain periods, you […]
Sci-fi has a women problem. The New York Times spoke to fangirl-turned-publisher Ashley Eckstein about making room in the conversation: “Liking Star Wars is not a trend; it’s part of who you are,” she said, adding that she was disturbed to see women harassed for liking sci-fi and fantasy. “It was troubling to me; it was […]
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. When a man’s argument, undressed of its trappings, is an effete protest against […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. Read about her nonprofit […]
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 […]
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. Unfortunately, most of the responses failed at […]
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. […]
After the Guardian released a list of the 100 best books written in English, readers and writers railed against it for being too male and too white. The newspaper is listening to its readers and asking for more diverse suggestions to augment the list. You can submit your own picks here.
The last few weeks have been all about celebrating female masters of the short story. Earlier this month, we saw collections by Clarice Lispector and Shirley Jackson making waves in the literary swimming pool, and this week Lucia Berlin enters with a cannon ball. The three have been soaking up screen time all over the Internet, with […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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. With Tuesday’s release of a collection of previously unpublished […]