Thursday, 2 April 2009

Irish Women's Writing: A Feminist Look

Image from the Velvet Banana blog. Unknown artist.

My article Irish Women's Writing: A Feminist Look is now live at Indieoma here.

It would be great if y'all would register** with the site and leave a comment. I know the article is long (I have a lot to say on the subject!) but you could always print it out and relax in your chair to read it.

Here's a taster:

"So what of the literary world? How do women fare there? As a feminist and full-time, female writer in Ireland, perhaps my biggest difficulty is with the wholesale promotion of chick lit. The problem is that, in Ireland – despite Irishwoman Anne Enright winning the Man Booker Prize last year, and despite iconic Irish writers such as Edna O’Brien – chick lit is held aloft as the women’s genre, as if no Irish women writers were writing quality literary fiction."

** I've just been told it's not necessary at the moment to register in order to leave a comment at Indieoma, so that's good.


Pure fiction said...

I just read your article at Indieomedia, but I seem to have a problem with registering on the site to leave a comment.
For me the danger with chick-lit is not only that women's literary fiction is being overlooked by publishers, but also that because some marketing person has discovered saccharine covers and shoe-shopping stories are what sells, they've lumbered a whole load of different women's writers work into the same genre, when in fact there are huge differences between the issues some supposed 'chick-lit' authors are tackling in their work.
Also, I think it's dodgy that there seems to be no equivalent form of 'men's fiction'. Why is work from writers like Ben Elton and Nick Hornby greeted as literature, while the equivalent style of work from a female writer is described as chick-lit?
Despite the fact that it shifts books, chick-lit, at the end of the day, is a slightly derogatory term.


Pure F, I've told them about your registering problem - hopefully it will get sorted.

Thansk for reading my article.

Sometimes Nick Hornby et al are categorised under 'lad lit' but it doesn't have the same simplistic connotations as chick lit, I think. And it hasn't become shorthand for 'men's writing' as chick lit has. Men's writing is still seen as 'the' writing, iykwim.


I've just been told IT IS NOT NECESSARY AT THE MOMENT to register in order to leave a comment at Indieoma. Cool!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hey WRW,ye have stuff everywhere (great),still waitin on Popshot-you got yours yet? I'll mosey on over to Indieoamamamaherecomestheicecreamvan,I'd love a 99 with sprinkles,but I have a very short span of ...would you look at the state of that grass must get th...think I'll have a cup of tea or coffee, now where was I?


Total - thanks for your comment over at Indieoma.

Anyone else - people seem to be able to register now.

BarbaraS said...

Hi N, I read your article with a lot of head-nodding: you make a good case for why Irish women writers need to be taken more seriously in literary terms. I still think Ireland can be a bit backward about being forward in these things, so it's no wonder that our well-known women writers end up going abroad for their recognition and kudos. Anyway, it's good article with a lot to say on the subject - maybe we'll see versions of this article appear in a broadsheet near us soon! ;)

Merc said...

I think I did something wrong - posted at indieoma but forgot to sign off and it appeared as anon. Anyway, thanks for the article.


Hi B
I wonder do they 'end up going abroad' or do other countries just have more respect for literary work in general? (Despite Ireland's so-called high lit profile, it does little to encourage it, really).
Or do you mean, tht we have more success when we publish abroad?

Merc, I saw your comment and thanks a million for it.
The brief was 'feminism and the arts', so I turned it to my own purposes, as you do!

Bill Via said...

Bill from here. Just a quick note to say thanks for a fantastic contribution to this week's Feminism feature and to apologize to everyone for the hassles posting comments. We added some features recently that are confusing the system. I won't bore you with the details, but wanted to let you know that we're working on it.

We hope to publish more of Nuala's work in the future (and if you missed the previous contribution, "Milo," click here. It's a wonderful short story).

Enjoy the weekend!