Thursday, 15 February 2007

Maureen Dowd, a New York Times columnist, has had a column published in today's The Sydney Morning Herald. Chick-lit, she opines, is taking over the bookstore. A Borders, no less. And she's not happy about it.

Jacket designs that are aimed at the female cohort of book buyers are distinctive. They tell male readers to look elsewhere for their literary kicks. They are exclusive in their aim: women.

Of course, most readers are women. In the nineteenth century, Dowd observes, novels were frequently associated with women. In the twenty-first, it seems, the trend continues.

As for bloggers, going by what I link to it's pretty much 50:50. But I find that commenters to this blog are generally women. As far as I can tell, that is. Are women more curious than men? Do they value communication more than men? Are they better equipped to communicate?

It's beyond me. All I know for sure is that, as Nabokov said, women write like they button their shirts: from the left. I admire many women writers, notably Joan Didion, Jane Austen, A. S. Byatt, and Margaret Atwood. Then there's Virginia Woolf, who was sort of half man, half woman. To look at my LibraryThing author cloud, however, you'd have to agree that I value works by men more than those by women.

3 comments:

DFV said...

I'm struggling to list many female writers whose new works I look forward to. So far, the only ones I unreservedly enjoy are Annie Proulx and Margaret Atwood.

Sam said...

Of course, Australia has many great female writers: Mandy Sayer, Helen Garner, Carrie Tiffany among them.

I find your comment about Woolf being half man and half woman to be off-putting. What made you say this? Because she was bisexual?

Dean said...

Was she? In any case, I probably went a bit far with that tag. Apologies if it offends.