In the media is a weekly round-up of features written by, about or containing female writers that have appeared during the previous week and I think are insightful, interesting and/or thought-provoking. Linking to them is not necessarily a sign that I agree with everything that’s said but it’s definitely an indication that they’ve made me think. Also, just a note to make it clear that I’m using the term ‘media’ to include social media, so links to blog posts as well as traditional media are likely.
This week, I’m starting with prizes as there seems to be a fair few announcements at the moment. The Man Booker Prize jury will announce its winner on Tuesday. In The Guardian, the shortlisted authors revealed the inspiration behind their books. (Karen Joy Fowler’s contains a spoiler if you you’ve managed to avoid the reveal so far.) The Samuel Johnson Prize shortlist contained four books by women. I’ve only read one so far, but H Is for Hawk is one of the best books I’ve read this year. But the prize that’s got me most excited is The Green Carnation Prize which celebrates LGBT literature. (You can see the longlist in the photograph above.) Eight women on a longlist of thirteen and the two I’ve already read (Thirst by Kerry Hudson and In Search of Solace by Emily Mackie) are two of my books of the year. Expect reviews of more of the books on list before the shortlist is revealed on the 6th of November.
Elsewhere, Lena Dunham continues to be everywhere. She’s guest editor of this week’s Stylist magazine in which she interviews herself while Ashley C. Ford interviews her for Buzzfeed. She’s also written for Pen & Ink about her tattoo. (If you’re interested in Pen & Ink: An Illustrated Collection of Unusual, Deeply Human Stories Behind People’s Tattoos, there’s a great piece on Brainpickings.) In other corners of the internet, people were defending Dunham against the backlash around her book and criticisms of self-indulgence; first, Heather Havrilesky in the Los Angeles Review of Books and second, Sloane Crosley in the New York Times.
Often just as unpopular, Caitlin Moran is in Time talking about Teen Girls, Sex and Pretending to be Courtney Love and in the Radio Times talking about the filming of her co-written sitcom ‘Raised by Wolves’. If her feminism doesn’t interest you, perhaps her piece lamenting the loss of birds in her garden in this weekend’s The Times will. (Paywalled)
Leading feminist writer, Roxane Gay has been prolific again this week. She’s in The Guardian writing about why celebrity feminists should be a gateway to feminism, not its all; on VQR Online talking about The Price of Black Ambition, and in Dissent with a Theses on the the Feminist Novel.
Other notable articles are:
- Huffington Post on the Rejected Cover Designs (US) for Lauren Beukes’ Broken Monsters
- NPR on the uphill battle women in comics face
- Rebecca Wait on writing and mental health on the Picador blog
- Jane Smiley is in The New Yorker writing on ‘My Absent Father‘ and in Narrative Magazine writing on ‘Pageantry, Intrigue, Contemplation, Mystery‘ (you have to sign up for free to read the full piece)
- Jeremy Clarke on Katherine Mansfield in The Spectator
- Amy Jenkins, ‘Picking the Wrong Men: on Thomas Hardy and Love‘ in The Guardian.
- Anne Helen Peterson on why she reads Marilynne Robinson on Buzzfeed
- Mona Simpson on who Elena Ferrante might be – with some interesting comparisons to classic literature – in the New Republic (spoilers if you haven’t read the Neopolitan Novels)
- Sali Hughes’ introduction to her book Pretty Honest on the 4th Estate Blog
- John Williams on the New York Times’ relationship with Virginia Woolf
- Yana Lee on Marina Keegan on the Waterstones’ Blog
- Victoria Best on How Sarah Waters Won Over the Reading World in Shiny New Books
- Victoria Best (again) profiling Monique Roffey in Shiny New Books
And the interviews:
- Emily St John Mandel (and Clemens J. Setz) is on the Guardian Books Podcast discussing literary dystopias.
- Emily St John Mandel’s also on the BBC discussing why Shakespeare could survive the apocalypse.
- Q&As on Anne Goodwin’s blog Annethology with Audrey Magee and Kathryn Simmonds
- Aria Beth Sloss on PCTV
- Sarah Hilary on the Richard and Judy Bookclub Podcast
- Rene Denfeld on Rachel Ann Hanley’s blog
- Helen Macdonald (and Tim Dee and James Macdonald Lockhart) is on the LRB Podcast talking about birds.
- Marilynne Robinson on Writing Lila in Vogue
- Julie Schumacher on The Rumpus
- Laura MacDougal interviews Catherine Hall in Polari Magazine
- 20 questions…Samantha Ellis on Kate O’Reilly’s website
- More Elena #FerranteFever, Lizzy Siddal meets Ferrante’s translator Ann Goldstein
- Julia Donaldson in The Independent
- Elizabeth Gilbert on the inspiration behind The Signature of all Things on Galleycat
- Mira Jacob in Shiny New Books
- Alice Furse on talkSPORT
- Deborah Eisenberg in the Houston Chronicle
- Linda Tirado in The Telegraph
If you’d like some fiction to read (or listen to):
- Time Out New York has commissioned a series of New York stories: Marie-Helene Bertino ‘Marry the Sea‘; Julia Wertz ‘Six Types‘; Lindsey Kelk ‘Anywhere Else‘; Bernice McFadden ‘Coming to America‘; Julia Fierro ‘Simpatico‘; Sasha Fletcher ‘Some Brief and Partial Histories of Bandits Arrive on Whispers Come in on the Wind‘; Jacqueline Novak ‘Manhattan Maps‘.
- An excerpt from Faint Promise of Rain by Anjali Mitter on Bloom (as recommended by The Millions)
- Julia Franck’s story ‘The Family Friend‘ in Granta, translated by Eleanor Collins, winner of Harvill Secker’s Young Translators Prize 2014
- Helen deWitt, ‘Candide’s Garden‘ in Dissent
- Dominique Moore reading Katherine Rundell’s Waterstones’ Children’s Book Prize and Blue Peter Book Award winner ‘Rooftoppers’ (Three weeks left to listen).
And the lists:
- Flavorwire have 50 Cultural Icons on their favourite books
- 14 Things you Probably Didn’t Know about Margaret Atwood on Buzzfeed (better than the title makes it sound)
- Meg Wolitzer’s Top Ten Literary Fiction + a Q&A on The Interestings + an extract from her YA book Belzhar on Foyles’ website.
- Eight Empowering Books for Women, by Women on Marie Claire
And the four best things I’ve read this week:
- Ann Leckie interviewed for Wired on why the characters in her novel Ancillary Justice aren’t differentiated by gender
- Alexander Chee in The New York Times on why we should all be reading books by female writers.
- Jean Hannah Edelstein on giving public masturbators the benefit of the doubt (best final line I’ve read all week)
- Isobel on her blog Leeds & Me on ‘Things I Didn’t Say to Margaret Atwood‘.