Monday, March 11, 2013

Ladies of Literature

This month saw the publication of the 2012 VIDA Count, a study of gender representation in literary journals. VIDA's results are, sadly, not that surprising. Male reviewers and male authors hold the staggering majority of feature articles. The VIDA Count surveyed a broad selection of journals, including the New York Times Book Review, the Boston Review, Granta, Harper's, POETRY, The New York Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, New Republic, The Nation, etc...

The study is revealed in conjunction with National Women's History Month, which began the first day of March. Even more buzz has been generated by the events of the AWP Conference in Boston, including a discussion moderated by VIDA Board Member Cheryl Strayed. (Yes, the Cheryl Strayed of Wild!) And there are some awesome conversations emerging from the most recent numbers, including this conversation with Tin House editor Rob Spillman. While the voices of women have come a long way, we certainly have a lot of room to grow, as a culture, towards equality in publishing. But these surveys and talks allow us to reassess our growth, and adjust accordingly.


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