You think genders in literature don’t matter? Why is there no genre called man-lit then? We have the man-cave, a place to relax and get some peace, but no female alternative, and in literature books written by women tend to be assumed as for women and get put in this ‘one size fits all’ basket of chick-lit. It’s a pet hate of mine and something I addressed in a radio appearance last year, so you can imagine how thrilled I am to find that on the New York Times ‘best 10 books this year’ list, seven of them are by female authors!
This is a huge deal for equality and shows that female authors are finally being recognised outside the ‘chick-lit’ genre. Here’s the list, maybe you can add a few to your TBR.
A Manual For Cleaning Women: Selected Stories – Lucia Berlin
Published earlier this year, A Manual for Cleaning Women is a selection of short stories and takes a funny and beautiful look at the lives of women in the working classes.
Outline – Rachel Cusk
Outline was a 2014 release and was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. It follows the story of a novelist who goes to Athens to teach. It’s a first person novel, but unusually you learn nothing of the narrator and everything of the world she finds herself in.
Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
The NY Times second entry by a make author is National Book Award winner Between the World and Me, a profoundly moving memoir about race in America, written as a letter to the author’s 14-year-old son.
Empire of Cotton: A Global History – Sven Beckert
Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for History, Empire of Cotton looks at the global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners, ushering in our world of modern capitalism.
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World – Andrea Wulf
The Invention of Nature looks at the extraordinary life of German visionary Alexander von Humboldt and how he created the way in which we understand nature today.
Well they may have been the year’s bestsellers, but I hadn’t heard of many of them. I’ve added a couple to my TBR!
It’s wonderful to see female authors see recognition for works outside the chick-lit genre, and to finally see some lady authors on the top of the bestsellers lists.