Blogger: Etta Wilson
Location: Books & Such Nashville Office
Weather: Cold and Wet
In Monday’s post on judging the “Letters to Authors” written by junior high students, a couple of other items caught my attention. One of those was the large number of outstanding letters written by boys. You know–that gender that we and editors at publishing houses are constantly bemoaning because they don’t read. While there may not be a great many boys reading, I found close to half of the letters were from young male readers, and they are in that age bracket where we surmise boys are playing either sports or video games.
In addition, most of these boys were not writing about books we’d call easy reading, and the schools they represented were a good mix of public and private, large and small. Somehow these boys had become engaged with books such as Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. So much for any gender bias I had!
It did set me to thinking about the gender of authors, particularly fiction authors. Of the 15 Hardcover Adult Fiction Bestsellers in the January 11 issue of Publishers Weekly, ten were written by males. The ratio is about the same in the report of the Hardcover Bestsellers for all of 2009 where seven of the ten are male. Now there’s some difference between readers and writers, but I want to suggest that we keep those males in mind when we write–either as well-rounded characters or as interested readers. Who knows, the future John Grisham may be reading our words!