Posts Written by

Never Mind a Room, We Need a NEWSPAPER of Our Own

Uh-oh. The year’s “great books” lists have begun. Female authors have put on our literary heels and danced backward as well as we can, but it looks again like we’re going to be left tapping our toes to the music while male writers dance on the best books lists once again. The New York Times just published its year’s notable books list — containing three times as many books written by men as by women.

Admittedly, 25% representation has women faring better in literature than we do in some other important places. Women constitute only 17% of the Senate and less than 3% of Fortune 500 Company CEOs. So perhaps we shouldn’t complain. And we certainly shouldn’t be surprised. A book the Times included on the list but didn’t review is the rare exception, and last year, the number of books written by men the Times reviewed outweighed those by women by almost two to one.

Could it be that women just don’t write as well as men? And yet the winner of latest Pulitzer Prize for fiction is notably female, as were three of the four winners of this year’s National Book Awards. Four of the five NBA finalists in fiction were women, while only twelve could be found for the more extensive Times list.

It isn’t just The New York Times, either. The New Yorker. Harper’s. The Atlantic. They all reviewed substantially more books written by men than by women.

Our ideas of who we are ...