Saturday, 5 March 2016

Worthy of Attention

Arguing that to "transition from awareness of inequality to outcomes that address that inequality, attention must be paid," critic Eva Jurczyk has decided to only review books written by women:
This wouldn’t change the number of books by women that are published every year, nor the total number of books that Publisher’s Weekly reviews—some eight thousand per year, mostly for librarians, the media, and booksellers—but if someone is reserving all of their mental energy and all of their ink for female-authored books, then perhaps these books will be covered sooner, the gems among them celebrated louder, and the publishing industry will slowly adjust the definition of the type of book that is deemed worthy of attention. 
She continues:
The books written by men will still get covered, just not by me—the female-written books, some of which might otherwise have had to wait months post-publication for a printed review, will be my top priority. I’m still going to read books by male authors—but rather than call dibs on the review copy, I’ll put them on hold at the library. I don’t expect that reviewing fewer pirate books and more female-authored books will change the publishing industry, just like I don’t expect a hashtag or VIDA counts to upend hundreds of years of ingrained inequity, but lots of small decisions made by lots of individuals might add up to something.
(Illustration by Hannah Wilson)

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