This is my mandatory round-up post about the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge 2017. I undertook to read 10 books by Australian women writers. I read 14. Here they are. I’ve tried to be clever with the lay-out. My apologies if it shows up on your screen as a jumble (as it certainly will on a phone).
Seven poetry collections:
Four novels, three of them e-books:
Not a dud among them!
I’m signing up for the 2018 challenge.
My general gender stats: This year I read 20 books by women and 46 by men.
Shocked at my own gender bias, I can massage the figures:
- If I don’t count comics, the male-written books come down to 24, or 29 if I count each comics series as a single work
- If I include journals, add 5 to the women’s score and 3 to the men’s (or 6 and 3 respectively if you count Southerly 76.3, jointly edited by Laetitia Nanquette & Ali Alizadeh)
So, with a bit of creative counting, I have read 26 books by women and 32 by men.
I’ve been intrigued by the whole notion of a ‘Women Writers Challenge’ as I don’t think the gender of the author enters into my thinking much when I choose a book. But yesterday I read an article about a man who said he had never read a book written by a woman(http://www.signature-reads.com/2017/03/the-man-who-doesnt-read-women/?cdi=5C050D3156555887E0534FD66B0A2FFB&ref=PRH24BB520913), which made me think again about the whole way people choose their reading! Thanks for another year of stimulating blogs Jonathan.
That’s a great article, Kathy. I like her question, ‘When was the last time you read a book that was not written by an author whose identity was the same as yours?’ I use Something of the kind to guide my reading. I don’t know if you sawTegan Bennett Daylight’s recent article about teaching English 1 at uni? NONE of her beginning students have ever read anything by an Australian writer ? Sometimes it’s important to make a point of reading things by people who share an identity. The AWW challenge helps me do both things.
I’m glad you enjoy the blog
Well done, Jonathan:) I’ve read a couple of these and No More Boats made it onto my Best of 2017 shortlist.
Thanks for a beaut year of reviewing and all the best for 2018!
Thanks Lisa. I love the camaraderie you bring to the Challenge
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Love that you contribute so much poetry to the Challenge Jonathan, and I love that you had not a dud among them. I’ve only read two of your books – the Clarke and Mahoud, and certainly agree they are not duds!
As for your gender balance, I love your “massaging” of the stats. That’s the joy of stats isn’t it … !
I look forward to seeing you at the Challenge again this year.