I've noticed a disturbing trend in the NYT Book Review. No, not this one, though I'm very glad the VIDA people are on it, but yet another instance of demoralizing gender bias in our ranks.
I enjoy reading the "By the Book" author interview column every week. I appreciate the glimpse into the minds of a variety of authors and I think they do a pretty good job of inviting diverse voices.
The authors are asked to name favorite reads and authors in a variety of questions ("Who's your favorite poet", "What book have you always meant to read", etc.). Far too often, the ratio of men to women is so lopsided as to be embarrassing. Now, I'll admit that my own list might be skewed slightly male. I don't know what the ratio would be - maybe 60-40? 55-45? But it's when the equation starts heading toward 90-10 that I'd question the author's reading list. Because I think it represents carelessness or bias in selection rather than quality.
I don't mean to pick on Kevin Powers, but of the fifteen authors he mentions in last week's column, there were exactly...ZERO women.
I can feel my pulse racing a little just thinking about it. Seriously, Kevin?
Everyone: if you have a vagina or care about anyone who does, think carefully about who wrote all the books piled on your nightstand or loaded on your e-reader. If you've neglected half the authors working today, maybe fix that.