A Literary Challenge: Read More Women!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that you should read more books by women. Yep, it’s true. I need to, you need to, we all need to. After you read these books, you need to talk about them. Those of you in a position to, you need to review them.

Here’s why: Women Writers are not getting reviewed as often as men.

It’s just embarrassing. Why isn’t women’s writing getting more attention? Why is it even labeled as women’s writing? Good writing is good writing.

Regarding the subject heading, take this challenge to read more women authors and read a couple titles from the recently released long list of nominees for the 2011 Orange Prize. On April 12th, the shortlist will be announced and dutifully reported here. The award, which in the has past has gone to notables such as Marilynne Robinson, Barbara Kingsolver, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith, Lionel Shriver and others, will be announced in June.

According to orangeprize.co.uk: The Orange Prize for Fiction, the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman, celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing throughout the world.

Without further ado, the longlist (courtesy of orangeprize.co.uk):

Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela

Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch

Room by Emma Donoghue

The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi

Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan Recent winner of 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award

The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna

The London Train by Tessa Hadley

Grace Williams Says it Loud by Emma Henderson

The Seas by Samantha Hunt

The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna

Great House by Nicole Krauss on the New Yorker 20 Best Writers under 40 list

The Road to Wanting by Wendy Law-Yone

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht Reviewed to great acclaim in recent publications, on the New Yorker 20 Best Writers under 40 list

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

Repeat it Today with Tears by Anne Peile

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell on the New Yorker 20 Best Writers under 40 list

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin

The Swimmer by Roma Tearne

Annabel by Kathleen Winter

Start reading these books. These are voices speaking to and of our time. Don’t you want to hear what they are saying?



1 Comment

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One response to “A Literary Challenge: Read More Women!

  1. Nikki Mutch

    Great blog, Josh! Did you read ROOM? Amazing book.
    I have to go add some of these to my TBR list…

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