Women vs. men in literature

While browsing through the New York Times’ Sunday Book section, I came across an essay by author Meg Wolitzer.

The essay is basically on male vs. female authors and whether male authors get more recognition and acclaim for their works simply because of their gender.

The article is certainly thought-provoking, though a topic I feel has been addressed on and off for quite a while. (Read the essay here)

And I can’t say I totally disagree with Wolitzer. But then again she seems to have to narrow a focus on the literature and authors she uses as examples. She sticks to fictional literature. And she seems to assume that most of what female writers write about is love, sex and family.

What about J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins? OK, so they are writing fantasy novels for tweens and teens, but that doesn’t make their works less relevant in literature, nor do their books stick to those age groups. They are strong women writers whose novels have won recognition around the world.

And, honestly, I often don’t really want to read about love, sex, divorce and family. Snooze. Women write about much more than that, and I wish Wolitzer had touched on that. Though the male authors she mentions have written about the same themes, so I guess she is comparing males who write about the same themes as females but get more recognition for it.

I’m going to need to mull this one over for a while.

What do you think of Wolitzers’s essay?


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