Chick lit

Publisher will print only books by women for 1 year

The writers shortlisted for the 2015 Baileys women’s prize for fiction with chair Shami ChakrabartiIan. Gavan/Getty Images for DIAGEO

Author Kamila Shamsie made a provocative suggestion in a Guardian article last weekend: publishing houses should publish only work written by women for one year to redress “gender bias” in the literary world. She revealed that under 40 percent of books submitted to the prestigious Booker Prize over the last five years were written by women, and pointed to other research that showed male-driven narratives dominated literary prizes, and that male authors and reviewers receive a disproportionate amount of attention. “I would argue that is time for everyone, male and female, to sign up to a concerted campaign to redress the inequality … Why not have a year of publishing women: 2018, the centenary of women over the age of 30 getting the vote in the U.K., seems appropriate,” she wrote. Now, one small publisher, And Other Stories, which releases some 10 to 12 new titles per year, has heeded her call and announced it would take on the challenge. Sophie Lewis, a senior editor, said her team would be rescheduling male writers’ books for other years, and they would be digging “harder and further than usual” to find great women’s writing to publish in 2018. “By taking on the challenge we will expose our systems and the paths of recommendation and investigation that brings books to us, and we will end up becoming a kind of small-scale model for a much bigger inquiry about why women’s writing is consistently sidelined or secondary, the poor cousin rather than the equal of men’s writing,” said Lewis.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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