Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Less Equal Than You’d Think

Are women writers underrepresented in our literary landscape? Elaine Showalter, Princeton University Professor Emerita and author of A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx (Knopf) certainly thinks so. On a recent On Public Radio International broadcast, Showalter explained her thoughts:
Women write a lot of fiction, and are massively read, and if you look at the best-seller list at any point… they will be represented in great numbers, and women are also reading fiction by men; but the opposite is not the case. I mean, men don’t read as much fiction by women; but more important than that, in our schools and in our histories of American literature, and in our sense of a national literary tradition, women don't play the role that they’ve earned.
A partial transcript of the broadcast is here, as is a link to listen to the interview in full.

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