Quill and Quire

Book news

« Back to

Gender disparity still an issue in literary publications

Yesterday, VIDA, an organization for women in literary arts, published the results of a survey tallying the percentage of female reviewers, contributors, and authors that appeared in 14 established literary magazines in 2011.

With the exception of Granta (34 women vs. 30 men appeared in the magazine) and The Boston Review, which published more book reviews by women than men (nine vs. five), there was little improvement over the 2010 survey.

The New York Times Book Review fared badly with 520 male authors reviewed vs. 273 female authors. The London Review of Books, The Atlantic, and The New Republic also had poor showings.

*The findings spurred Q&Q to break down its own gender numbers. In the March issue, 26 of the 40 of books reviewed were by women authors (including the YA novel The Taming, which was co-written by Teresa Toten and Eric Walters). Of the 25 fiction, non-fiction, and poetry titles for adults, 13 books written by women were reviewed, and 12 books by men. Sixteen of those books were reviewed by female critics, nine by male critics. The Books for Young People section features 14 female critics and one male critic.

*Correction, March 1: An earlier version of the story stated that 15 books were reviewed by female critics.