Where are the top female authors?

The controversy started at the end of last month, when Publishers Weekly put out their list of The Top Ten Books Of 2009--and not one female author made the list.

As everyone knows, there are more female readers than male and more female buyers of books than male buyers. It’s no coincidence that the romance genre is one of the few markets that has actually done well in this past year of economic decline.

Women are also more likely to form book clubs, make recommendations to their friends, and provide the kind of word-of-mouth that is so valuable in prolonging a book’s shelf life.

So, why are women routinely left out of the yearly Top Ten lists? Is it because of the age-old belief that books concerning “women’s issues” (i.e., family, relationships, love, romance) are somehow less important than the topics male authors might write about? Is there some kind of cultural and gender bias at work here?

Lizzie Skurnick, author of SHELF DISCOVERY, makes a good point here [HERE] that books by women are often considered to be “small” and “domestic” and books by men to be “large” and “universal,” regardless of how competently written they are.

What do you think, should critics actively work toward greater diversity on their lists? And, what books by female authors do you think should be on the list of The Top Ten books of the year?


Blogger Patricia Rockwell said:

Also, most books by male authors seem chock full of chase scenes, violence, and world-wide catastrophes--none of which interest me. I far prefer a book of smaller scope involving fewer characters, less danger, and more puzzle.

12:54 PM  

Anonymous Eve Langlais said:

It's funny because the majority of books I buy and enjoy are written by women. I find they handle life's humour much better than men. Men also tend to skip the romantic elements. Personally I enjoy watching the tension develop until it blooms into love. Or at the very least, a hot case of lust lol!

8:05 PM  

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