eegibson

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Women Winning Fewer Literary Prizes

    While women have made great strides in the literary world, they are still coming up short when it comes to winning the prestigious literary prizes such as the Nobel Prize, the Man Booker Prize, and the Pulitzer. Of course the historical context comes into play when tracing the history of the Nobel Prize, but I don’t think that same excuse can be made for the Booker and the Pulitzer; both prizes have had an astounding number of male winners since the year 2000. Is this a deep rooted cultural bias? Is this a reflection of the judges? Are the groups of judges made up equally of male/female judges? For example, the Swedish Academy which is the body responsible for picking the Nobel winner is made up of mostly men. Are men just better writers? That last question is loaded with sarcasm but still a question to be asked when looking at this trend in the literary prize atmosphere.

    • One idea could be to look at the context of literature written by female authors who have been shortlisted for the Nobel Prize. Are they dealing with themes which might be controversial and provocative? – Ryan Errington 5 years ago
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    • Are you thinking of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction or poetry? For fiction, since 2000, there have been six female winners and nine male winners (no one won in 2012). For poetry, since 2000, there have been six female winners and eleven male winners. For the Nobel Prize in literature there have been five female winners and ten male winners since 2000. – JLaurenceCohen 5 years ago
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    • I have never thought about this issue before and would be extremely interested to read about it. Perhaps explore the general bias readers have when reading a female's work as opposed to a male's work...for instance how some female writers opt to use a pen name to prevent this bias. – moespaulding 5 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    As many people commented above, I don’t believe that the novel is dying, but evolving. In a world that is dominated by screens, social media, and quickness, I do believe that the novel has to evolve. Even just looking at different curriculum that I’ve come into contact with, the novel’s evolution is inevitable and for a good reason. In my AP English class, while we were reading Virginia Woolf and Hemingway, we also read Watchmen, a phenomenal graphic novel. My undergraduate English Department taught a course about Vampires in fiction, mostly inspired by the Twilight series. The novel has to adapt, but no it is not dead.

    I found your article posing an important question, but I think you could have explored some other areas, such as the idea of the PRINT novel dying. That’s a concept that is becoming foreign to people, reading an actual book.

    Is the Novel Dead?

    I think one of the points that stuck with me most from this article comes at the very end when you stated that books and film are two different forms of media so there are different rules/expectations. I think that fan-bases get too wrapped up on the movies being a direct replica of the books that they loved. That’s an unrealistic expectation that will only let people down. A movie cannot possibly capture all of the little details found in a book; it’s simply not possible, which is why I’m always an advocate for books over movies. I also agree with your point about the Harry Potter film serious; they should have waited until she finished writing the series. I think it could have added some richness to the movies if it was started after the series was entirely finished.

    I was conversing with a friend about this topic. He is a huge movie junkie while I am a writer. He said, “Thank goodness for you guys. If we didn’t have books to make movies into, movies would be seriously lacking.” He pointed out to me (I’m not a huge movie junkie) that most blockbuster films are either book/comic book adaptions or remakes of previous movies. He seems to believe that the filmmakers are letting authors do the creative leg-work in a sense. I don’t know enough about the film industry to agree or disagree, but the trends do seem to be there, at least from what I’ve observed.

    How 'By the Book' Should Literary Adaptations Be?

    I liked that this article centered around pubs and bars where people can visit the likes of their favorite writers. But I think it sheds a bigger light on the commercialism that is emerging around the idea of taking a pilgrimage to visit a spot of a beloved author because they could have been writing our favorite book in that very spot. People are definitely capitalizing on this desire. For example, The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland offers patrons the chance to spend the night in the exact same suite where JK Rowling finished writing the beloved Harry Potter Series. She even autographed a bust in the hotel upon finishing the book in 2007. The Hotel capitalized on this fame and for just 1000 UK pounds a night, you can sleep in the same bed that JK Rowling did.

    Literature Places You Should Visit