For a long time, one of my goals has been to spend a month reading only female authors. It’s prompted by projects like Lilit Marcus‘ year of reading only books by women. I have too many commitments to review books and read for book clubs, etc, etc, to go for a whole year, but a month seems to be a reasonable goal and one (looking at Mount TBR) I can accomplish easily — perhaps even without missing male authors very much at all. Scrolling through my blog, I review a lot of books by women: Joe Abercrombie and Guy Gavriel Kay, even Tolkien, can all stand being sidelined for a month around here.
There’s nothing actually wrong with reading works by male writers, even if they are the archetypical white old men. Many of their books are deserving, many of them say things that people need to hear, or say things in a unique way. But the market is saturated with male writers, while female writers are still often relegated to genre, sidelined, bypassed for awards, etc.
There are issues of intersectionality, too: it’s important to read books by transgender people, people with disabilities, people of colour, working class people, queer people. There are all kinds of voices that need to be heard, need more space available to be heard in, and many of those voices are male. I think a month of reading only books by people of colour, or only books by people who identify as disabled, would be just as valuable. Even reading books by men which never made bestseller lists, or something like that. It’s just not my intent right now.
So, from 1st May to 31st May, this blog will review only books by female authors. (That’s how far in advance I’m scheduled — April is full.) Once I’ve finished reading Traitor’s Blade and The State of the Art, I’ll have no books on the go by men, and so the month of reading female authors only will commence. I might give you updates on how it’s going and what I’ve been reading, so you can see what reviews are coming up in May!
But a request to all of you, too: I want to read books by queer women, trans women, women of colour, Native American women… all kinds of women, in summary. Look through my TBR and STS posts and highlight someone you think I should read now now now, or suggest someone new. I’m especially looking for comics by women — I’m aware of Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Noelle Stevenson, Fiona Staples, Emma Rios… Gimme more!