The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2014: Where Are the Women?

This Sunday I was going to write a post about the Man Booker Prize as well, but I think Naomi did an amazing job and I prefer to reblog hers. Her post appears on the WordPress Freshly Pressed and has encouraged some healthy discussion on women’s right on the comments section.

Meanwhile, I would like to stress how important and crucial it is that we – as a society – support and empower women writers. I love reading women authors and I talk to mostly female publicists and agents on Twitter. So, I wonder, why can’t women be closer to 50% in prizes like this one. I also wonder if people know about the #ReadWomen2014 project. But, most importantly, I wonder if people do not stop to think that there women writers out there whose writing is still considered “lovely” and whose works are overlooked and underrated for only one reason: they were written by a woman.

Congrats and thank you, Naomi:

The Writes of Woman

In 1996, Kate Mosse established what is now the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction in response to the 1991 Booker Prize all-male shortlist (this was prior to the release of longlisted titles) in a year when 60% of novels published were written by females. Since then, the prize has been subjected to criticism over the decision to make it a women only award, criticism that has only increased in recent years as Hilary Mantel and Eleanor Catton have gone on to win the Booker from shortlists which had gender parity. Unfortunately today’s longlist has demonstrated exactly why the Women’s Fiction Prize is so important.

Let’s start with a positive and offer huge congratulations to Karen Joy Fowler for the wonderful We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (a novel overlooked – in my opinion – by the Bailey’s Prize earlier this year); Siri Hustvedt (one of the first Americans to be…

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5 thoughts on “The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2014: Where Are the Women?

  1. Sam (Tiny Library) says:

    What annoys me about it is the inclusion of David Nicholls. I’ve not read Us, but I have read Starter for Ten and One Day, and whilst they are enjoyable and well written books, if they had been written by a woman, they would have been classified as ‘chick lit’. It’s the same for Nick Hornby, he gets so much more respect than someone like Marian Keyes (and less girly covers!).

    Like

    • Elena says:

      Totally agree, Sam. I am so tired of double standards in everything, but especially in books. I would also say that they would be considered “commercial literature”. Maybe one day?

      Like

  2. Julia says:

    Elena, I’m really glad that you discuss this openly.
    I’ve always noticed a bias against women and there is research that supports my suspicion.
    I will be browsing your posts to get to know more women writers.
    Thank you.

    Like

  3. WordsAndPeace says:

    well, I did read one book by a woman included here, and I would be very reticent to read another one by her. As long as the book is superbly written, it does not bother me if the writer is male or female. The quality of writing is really what counts for me

    Like

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