Says James Tata:
I recently talked to an avid reader, a woman in her fifties who, to my alarm, said that for years she simply refused to read any book written by a man, especially fiction told from the point of view of female characters. A few months ago I tried reading Susanna Moore’s In the Cut and gave up halfway through because of the book’s relentless misandry, but I couldn’t imagine refusing to read books written by women. Where would I be as a reader without having read Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Alice Munro, Virginia Woolf, Susan Cheever, Amy Bloom, Marilynne Robinson, Louise Erdrich, Cynthia Ozick, Flannery O’Connor…on and on and on? As for writers depicting characters of the other sex, have there ever been any male characters better drawn than Middlemarch‘s Lydgate, Casaubon, Ladislaw, Vincy? If writers are forced by political considerations to write only from their own narrow experience, we as readers will be left with having to choose from among solipsistic memoirs–in fact, the very books I continue to see more and more of on the new books tables of the chain stores….
Read the whole thing here.