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The Scent of a Woman's Ink, Still
Five Women, One Passion, and the Unbreakable Bond of Friendship

On the whole, the past year was a pretty good one for literary women: Huerta Mueller won the Nobel, Hilary Mantel the Booker, Annette Gordon-Reed the National Book Award, and Elizabeth Strout the Pulitzer. We appear to have come "a long way, baby" since the days when Nathaniel Hawthorne declared that “[a]ll women, as authors, are feeble and tiresome” and Norman Mailer wrote “[t]he sniffs I get from the ink of women are always fey, old-bat, Quaintsy, Gaysy, tiny, too dykily psychotic.” (Too dykily psychotic?) But the fact that women are winning major literary prizes makes it all the more troubling when the books magazines continue to give the most attention to continue overwhelmingly to be those written by men. Publisher’s Weekly "first-ever Top 10”­ was a list of books written exclusively (that’s ten out of ten) by male authors. Newsweek last summer, in a 50 books list of “What to Read Now” included only nine women; this year, the number of women included in their "What to Read Now" piece was a little higher, but not much. Amazon, in its “Best Books of the Year,” included only two books written by women in the top ten – both sporting male protagonists – and in its longer list of 100 books included more than three times as many books written by men as by women. And now we have a lot of excitement over Jonathon Franzen getting the cover of Time. I don't have any opinion on whether he deserves the cover or not; the book isn't out yet. But I did receive by email (compliments of Ilana DeBare) the following list of authors who've made the cover in the past: Stephen King – March 27, 2000 ... (read more)

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so much for posting this