I just finished Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner. It was a good book. I don’t really have anything to say about it except that I enjoyed it very much and it certainly made me think about the choices I have made in life, the choices every married woman makes, and that are magnified ten times over for the wives of politicians.
And since I don’t write about my personal life online, that’s about all I do have to say about it. I wouldn’t be writing this review at all, because one paragraph hardly makes a book review, except it came to my attention (reading the comments on a post over at Uppercase Woman) that one is not supposed to like Jennifer Weiner. Somehow, her books are not considered Literature.
I want to make it clear that the commenters over at Uppercase Woman were disregarding this, and even found it somewhat ridiculous. But it occurs to me that, in the list of books that one is supposed to be ashamed of reading, are an awful lot of women authors.
Why should we be ashamed of reading authors who make their characters come alive, who present real people with real problems to be solved, and make us interested in the solutions? Why should we be ashamed of reading women authors who write about women, for women? And there, I think, is the key. Just as women’s voices have been marginalized throughout history (Oh, they have nothing to talk about except family and home) now we see women’s voices being marginalized in Literature. Oh, they only write about other women. Oh, they don’t write about real issues.
And while others have said these things before, and better than I can, I want to say it again. Because it is only by bringing these thoughts into the open that we can fight them. No one can fight shadows, and so we need to bring our lights and shine them on Literature until all good writers are included, not just those who won their battles already, or never had a fight at all.
- A Literary Glass Ceiling? (3quarksdaily.com)