Publishing and Consultancy
Will 2014 be the year of reading women? Last week, the author and artist Joanna Walsh started the Twitter hashtag #readwomen2014 after hearing about two male literary journalists, Jonathan Gibbs in the UK and Matthew Jakubowski in the US, who had decided to challenge their reading habits by focusing only on female authors for a fixed period.
A growing concern that literary culture tends to neglect the work of female authors led the organisation Vida: Women in Literary Arts to undertake a yearly count of male and female authors reviewed in top literary journals. Vida detected a marked imbalance in how male and female writers are treated: for example, in March 2013, just 8.7% of books reviewed in the London Review of Books were by women – even though women are extremely well represented among authors of literary fiction and non-fiction.
To Joanna Walsh’s surprise and delight, the #readwomen2014 hashtag was taken up with relish, used to celebrate recent female literary prizewinners such as Eleanor Catton and Alice Munro, and to suggest female authors ripe for rediscovery. High-profile supporters include A.M. Homes, winner of last year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, who remarked: ‘My teacher, Grace Paley, said, “Women have always done men the favour of reading their work – the favour has not been returned.”’
Here at Red Button we are keen to do our bit for the campaign. We are particularly delighted to welcome our first female author to the list, Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone, whose dark, engrossing thriller Home will be published next month. We can’t wait to hear what you think of it … you could even post your thoughts on Twitter @readwomen2014
And if you’re inspired to join in, why not try some of our favourite books by women:
Karen & Caroline