Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sexist Genre Tags

Whenever someone asks me what kind of fiction I write, I tell them it's literary fiction. But some people want to call it women's fiction.

But what is women's fiction besides literary fiction written by a woman? And why isn't there a similar tag for men's fiction?

Is it like how it's more socially acceptable for girls to play with "boy" toys than the opposite? We can all read what men write, but if a woman writes it, only women can read it.

In his review of Sue Miller's The Lakeshore Limited, one of my favorite books, Ron Charles explains it as: "writing about families and marriages, infidelity and divorce -- what we call "literary fiction" when men write about those things."


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