Sunday, August 15, 2010
Welcome to Girlfriends Book Club
It was clear by his tone he thought I was traveling down a dark and desolate road. Writing just for women? Unthinkable.
Just in case his first comment went over my head, he rattled the pages of my manuscript saying, “This is… parlor fiction.”
Had I somehow accidentally time -traveled back to the nineteenth century? Was I wearing a whale bone corset? Were there horses tethered outside? No. I noticed my fellow students were pecking away at the keyboards of their laptop. Still in the present day.
“And another thing,” he continued. “In the second paragraph, you mention how nicely a man fills out the seat of his blue jeans. I find that disturbingly sexist and offensive.”
Heh. As if men writers never write about women’s bodies. Have you ever heard of John Updike? Vladimir Nabokov? Nearly every male writer that’s ever lived?
Truth is, sometimes it feels like it's still the nineteenth century when it comes to women’s fiction. Even though women read twice as many books as men, writing for women is considered a lesser art form than writing for men. Especially in the academic community. Female writers aren’t reviewed nearly as much as men writers. Their writing isn’t as well respected. A woman writer has never made the cover of Time. Shoot. Even Oprah has been dissing them for the last few years.
Will this blog change any of that?
Will this blog celebrate women's fiction?
Welcome to the Girlfriends Book Club. We’re a group blog of 35 women authors. We’ll be taking turns blogging Monday through Friday. During the weekends, we’ll sometimes have guest bloggers and other news. This is the place to hang out if you’re a reader or writer of fiction aimed primarily at women.
The Girlfriends Book Club evolved from Girlfriend Cyber Circuit, a virtual tour of thirty-some women writers. The GCC started five years ago when blog tours were still a novelty, and it was so well-known around the Internet that it got some ink in The Village Voice and New York Times. The GCC for YA authors is still plugging along.
Most of the members of the GCC have been blogging their hearts out for years and some we’re getting burned-out by blogging daily. None of us wanted to lose the community feel of the GCC, so it made sense to start a group blog. We hope you will stop by and visit us regularly.
P.S. One of our blog topics this cycle is favorite summer reads. Since I’m in an MFA program, I read a couple of classics: Catcher in the Rye. (Loved it), and Great Gatsby (meh). I also adored Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. It’s a series of linked stories and took a while to get into, but it’s really wonderful. If you haven’t discovered the amazing Ms. Strout, I suggest you start off with Amy and Isabelle and be prepared to have the top of your head blown off; it’s that good.
I also loved Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. It’s about a young Korean women who comes to NYC in the nineties with her mother and they end up living in an unheated flat and working in a sweat shop. It’s my best read this summer and has become an all-time favorite. What was your favorite read this summer?
About me: I’m the author of the Bottom Dollar Girl series, co-author of Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big-Novel, and most recently Earthly Pleasures under the pen name Karen Neches. Currently I’m enrolled in an MFA program (Despite poking fun at it, I’m loving it and learning a lot!) and working on my thesis novel, which is a departure from what I usually write. Visit me at http://www.karenneches.com/