Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Review Byline Tally Shows Gender Disparity

"In its annual count of male and female bylines in book reviews, magazines and literary journals, VIDA, a women’s literary organization, revealed that in 2013, the publications still largely favored men over women.

At The New York Review of Books, there were 212 male book reviewers and 52 female; at The Atlantic, there were 14 male book reviewers and three female; at Harper’s, there were 24 male book reviewers and 10 female.

VIDA tallied bylines in 39 publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Granta and The New Republic.

Since it began several years ago, the VIDA count has been a reliable conversation-starter about gender disparity in the literary world.

The New Republic followed up the 2010 VIDA count with its own tally of who was writing the books in the first place. The numbers it found, wrote Ruth Franklin, then a senior editor at the magazine, “show that the magazines are reviewing female authors in something close to the proportion of books by women published each year. The question now becomes why more books by women are not getting published."