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Ah, the gender bias in literature: Are YOU secretly a sexist?

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Gender also shapes how we evaluate novels themselves. What can seem authoritative or worthy in the hands of a man often seems to be seen as narrow in the hands of a woman, leading me to wonder if, had a woman written it, the fact that a significant part of Freedom concerns a love triangle and marital discontent would have led reviewers to focus more on the "domestic" aspects of the novel, discounting its social scope. It's hardly radical to wonder such things.

Do you find that there's a bias towards male novelists, too? Or — easy joke here — is the female author of this article (a novelist) just bitter 'cause don't nobody like her work?


I have thought about this over the years. I think Kathy Acker was exactly what one calls a genius. I love AM Homes (though I have only read her early novels and stories). I love Djuna Barnes's 1930s (I think?) novel, Nightwood, which contains probably the best prose I have read.


But hardly anyone mentions Kathy Acker when they're talking about the great experimental fiction writers — that seems to be the domain of, say, Donald Barthelme and Italo Calvino.


And who uses "Barnes" and "Dos Passos" in the same sentence?