Why Don’t Books About Women Win Awards?

By Dianna Dilworth Comment

Novelist Nicola Griffith has analyzed the winning books of six major book awards over the last 15 years and has come to the conclusion that both women authors and story’s written from a woman’s perspective are less likely to win awards.

Griffith looked at data from the Pulitzer Prize, Man Booker Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics’ Circle Award, Hugo Award and Newbery Medal. She found for instance that men were more likely to get a Pulitzer Prize. While women authors had won the award, it was only for works in which the narrative was from the man’s perspective or at least both a man and woman’s perspective. (No narratives written soley from a woman’s perspective won the award). Here is more from Griffith’s blog:

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that, when it comes to literary prizes, the more prestigious, influential and financially remunerative the award, the less likely the winner is to write about grown women. Either this means that women writers are self-censoring, or those who judge literary worthiness find women frightening, distasteful, or boring. Certainly the results argue for women’s perspectives being considered uninteresting or unworthy. Women seem to have literary cooties.