Chick-lit

Colbert has invited 9 fiction writers to “Late Show,” none women

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 28: Author Jonathan Franzen reads Stephen a bedtime story on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Wednesday Oct. 28, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)

While a number of female writers have been booked to visit The Late Show with Stephen Colbert since Colbert took over as the host in September, not a single one has appeared on the show to promote a work of fiction. Dana Schwartz, a writer for The New York Observer and a former Late Show intern, notes that during her time working for the show there was a “distinct trend of men coming on the show to promote novels and women coming on the show to promote memoirs.” Women writers, she argues, are taken more seriously if they write about history or themselves than if they write fiction.

This perception bias, Schwartz writes, extends to marketing as well. When a man writes about a broken marriage, it’s literature. But when a woman writes about a broken marriage, “its cover becomes a sun-drenched field with a frolicking woman in a cotton dress, destined to grace the stands of Hudson News’ in airports around the country.” Before Colbert took over The Late Show, he promised to “celebrate [women’s] voices” in the male-dominated landscape of late night. So far, as female writers of fiction are concerned, Colbert has failed to live up to expectations.

Read the full story at The New York Observer.

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