I’m way behind the times, but did you read at M.J. Rose’s blog that most of Oprah’s Book Club picks have been written by MEN? 12 out of the last 14, she says, and the last 8 in the last two years have been ALL written by men.
Okay, nothing wrong with men. I’d say a HUGE portion of my favorite writers are men, particularly since there are limited women writing spy fiction.
I feel a little let down by Oprah. She’s a huge role model, a huge force in the publishing industry, and woman of huge influence. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for her.
And now I feel a little ... disappointed. A small part of me wonders why. Is it that men are better writers? (Of course not!) But if they aren’t, then why would the poster woman for female-roaring find so few female authors that moved her? Or is this a problem in the publishing industry at large, and the filtering-down effects are that’s what her choices were? Or maybe it’s a coincidence?
David Montgomery recently asked Do statistics matter?, when discussing the recent Sisters in Crime analysis of the gender gap in reviews. They work out to roughly average (56.23% male and 43.77% female), which strikes me as probably fair.
The statistics are good to be aware of, in case one has an unaware gender bias. It does exist. Remember my post asking Men Write Better Than Women? However, I don’t believe gender should be the first criteria for reviewing or for book clubs.
But Oprah? 12 out of 14 books?