Evening the Playing Field: Small Publishing House Promises to Only Publish Women Authors for One Year
“Clearly the crisis of American fiction is that there are no women in it.” Such was the sentence that Martin Amis whispered to his neighbor at a literary festival during a panel on “The Crisis of American Fiction.” And quite an astute observation it was.
With so relatively so few women getting book deals in comparison to men, it’s exciting to hear that a publishing house has decided to only publish women authors for an entire year. And Other Stories, a small literary press, has promised to commit itself to finding “really good women’s writing.” As far as when this new year will begin, readers can expect to see women’s books exclusively taking over the And Other Stories shelves in 2018.
The challenge actually arose when Kamila Shamsie, a 2015 finalist for Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, called out the literary world for being extremely gender biased — both publishing more male authors as well as having more male characters as leading protagonists in novels. In her op-ed for The Guardian she set forth the challenge of only publishing women for one year… and when And Other Stories accepted this year, it had everyone giddy with excitement.
Obviously, there are both talented men and women writers all over the world — but opening the gates a little wider to help more of the minority gender have their writing published is something we can all be happy about.
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