The first of a 2 or 3 part series. I gots to spreeeeaaaaaaaad out on this topic.
In honor of The Millions‘ Year in Reading series, my favorite of which were Zadie Smith‘s and Matt Dojny‘s—brevity!—I present here my discussion of a year of reading mostly women novelists.
First entry: Why did I make this commitment?
Partly this. Gender disparity in publishing. Dresses-and-heels book covers, no Time covers, not even close to 50% of book reviews and so forth.
Partly my guilt that after earning a Ph.D. in contemporary fiction, I was appallingly ignorant of living women fiction writers. Appallingly. Though I could, probably, blame the system as much as myself. A scholarly system that separates “race and ethnicity” and “gender and sexuality” fields from “contemporary US fiction.”
Partly post-academic burnout. I spent years investigating novels written by men. Mostly white men. No longer beholden to a professional agenda, why not take a break from my diss dudes?
Partly an experiment. Like a year of living biblically or a year of no sex or a year of eating only orange foods (yes, salmon counts). My year of reading only women writers.