Books about women don’t win awards, and that’s a huge problem


The books that win awards are almost never stories about women.

Sometimes the winners of big literary prizes are female writers, but often their books center on the stories of men and boys. Stories about women and girls, written by either gender, rarely win prizes, and that reinforces a subtle but dangerous notion that the stories that should be told, written and rewarded are stories about men.

Novelist Nicola Griffith had a hunch that this theory was true. “I’ve been counting, subconsciously then consciously, for 20 years when I was first published and started to see how skewed the playing field was,” Griffith told me over email.

Last week, though, Griffith backed up her theory with data. She gathered all of the information for the books that had won the biggest literary prizes available for fiction since 2000, and charted the data on her blog, breaking down how many of…

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