Women read more books than men. Women buy more books than men. So much so, that author Ian McEwan has said that if women stopped reading, the novel would be dead. Hence this slightly tongue-in-cheek campaign to ‘remasculize’ literature. Here’s the deal – take some book title, or a cover, and beef it up for a masculine audience. Patten and Prejudice. Northanger Two Zero. You get the idea.
But if publishers really want to set the record straight, perhaps they could do something about the disingenuously and hypocritically sexist institution that is the women-only book prize, such as the Orange Prize for Fiction, and institute a prize exclusively for authors with balls. Hypocritical? Disingenuous? Sure. It’s not as if female authors are struggling to find an audience, now, is it?