Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Women writers are underrepresented on the Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist

It's worth mentioning that only three of the novels on the longlist for the 2010 Miles Franklin Literary Award are written by women.

The usual suspects, including Peter Carey and Thomas Keneally, are on the list of 12, along with the prodigious Craig Silvey, 27, author of Jasper Jones, his second novel.

An SMH article about the longlist focused on the photogenic Silvey, who has also been nominated for the Cleo Bachelor of the Year. He's got the look - stubbled chin, nice hair with just a little product to thicken up the top bit, earnest and sincere expression and intelligent eyes. You know what I mean.

The story also mentioned Glenda Guest, a writer in her 60s whose debut novel Siddon Rock made the cut. It's heartening to learn that Guest had placed her finished ms, written for her PhD in Creative Writing, in a drawer but was encouraged by friends to send it to publishers.
Of course, Guest isn't as newsworthy as the younger Silvey, who is all shiny and uncreased.

The two other women who join Guest on the list are established author Sonya Hartnett and Deborah Foster (when I Googled her name she came up as the author of a book on cross-stitch).

But there they are. Three. Their number comprises one quarter of the list.

It makes me wonder if the Australian 'literary' market is dominated by men, or if there are usually more women on the list. I'm too lazy to research this - no one's paying me to write my blog and I spend too much time on the stupid thing anyway. So you do it.

But it's still something to ponder. Once one steps outside of the romance writing genre (and its sub genres) and into what is perceived as 'serious' writing, does it become a boys' club?


Sandie Hudson said...

ROTFLMAO - 'You do it', okay I'm surfing the blog for Cruisin', it is the only time lately that I seem to read anyone's blogs. As for researching women on the Miles Franklin Literary Awards list, nope don't have time. But it is interesting.

Who's next?


Anita Joy said...

Shayne, you crack me up! It was worth only getting 3 women on the list just to have you write this blog ;)

Shayne said...

Gee, thanks.

Anonymous said...

and then there is the Archibald selections as outlined in SMH today - Danny-Boy