I couldn’t agree more with this recent article from the Huffington Post.
Because whatever the statistics show us, there is a genre of fiction that rarely gets reviewed in any serious publication: and that’s ‘women’s fiction.’
Now, as I made clear last year, I don’t like the term ‘women’s fiction’. It’s an unnecessary clarification that marginalises commercial novels by women. The books we’re talking about are simply contemporary fiction that happen to be written by female authors. Books dealing with subjects that, if written by men, would be lauded as insightful and thought-provoking, but which in the hands of women are classed as ‘domestic’ or ‘romantic’.
So when David Nicholls writes Us – a very funny and touching book about a disastrous family trip around Europe – it not only gets reviewed across the spectrum but is also longlisted for the Booker Prize. But when Jojo Moyes writes The One Plus One – also a funny and touching book about a family road trip – it doesn’t garner a single broadsheet review, despite her phenomenal success with Me Before You. Which rather leaves one begging the question: Just what on earth does a commercial female writer need to do in order to be taken seriously?
A conversation with a former Editor of literary fiction went some way to explaining the prejudice…
Read the full article here.