"Have you heard? Women writers are less than. They’re reviewed less often than their male counterparts, and they win fewer awards. Even fictional women are inferior; stories centered on male protagonists rack up more accolades. In fact, over half of Pulitzer Prize-winning books from 2000 to 2015 were by and about men, and nearly another quarter were by women, but about men. The gender breakdown for the Man Booker Prize is even more bleak.But wait! Sadly, there’s more: according to an informal survey conducted by a publisher, 22 percent of the authors who inspire modern-day authors are women. The rest are men." -Maddie Crum,"Women Writers Get Less Credit. So, What Are We Doing About It?"
"Today's literary landscape shows that female authors still have to fight against bias, even without pen names. For example, a 2011 study found that the The New York Review of Books reviewed 71 female authors, as opposed to 293 male authors; The New York Times reviewed 273 women and 520 men. Another study that same year analyzed how few female authors were being published versus male authors at major publishing houses. Alfred A. Knopf, Farrar Straus and Giroux and Little, Brown were all overwhelmingly male; Crown (home to authors like Gillian Flynn of Gone Girl) was the only one with an even split." -Yohana Desta, "A brief history of female authors with male pen names"
So, take a pledge with me today - and agree to do something about this.
I agree to spend 30-minutes this week reviewing books on Amazon and Goodreads - that I have read - which are authored by women.
This doesn't have to be a difficult task. Walk over to your bookshelf or Kindle and see what's there. A few sentences will do.
And, if you find you don't have many books written by women, make an effort to seek them out and read more of them. some of my favorite living female authors are Toni Morrison, Dominique Christina, Cheryl Strayed, Stacyann Chin, Poet on Watch.and Sandra Cisneros. And I have Kaalii Cargill's Tapestry of Dark and Light and Donna J. Snyder's The Tongue Has It's Secrets on my list for July reading. This list is by no means extensive or meant to be exclusionary - these are the first names that popped into my head as I was writing this.
You can also check out this list of books compiled for #readwomen2014. (And don't forget the non-fiction writers either!)
Be sure to support smaller woman-owned publishing companies too - like Mago Books, Womancraft Publishing and The Girl God.
One of the things I am looking forward most this summer is sitting down with a pile of good books around me. Please join me in supporting women's work - and please purchase from independent bookstores or the author's themselves whenever possible.