Women writers won't be surprised to learn that female authors are read less frequently and are given less exposure than male authors. The organization VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, founded in 2009, has documented women's unequal representation in print and their less-favorable reviews. Feminists have long discussed the "male aesthetic," or the idea that cultural references and expression lean more heavily toward male characters, male writers, ideas of masculinity, and the portrayal of male experiences.
Recently, authors, bloggers, publishers, book sellers, and reviewers are trying to address this imbalance by unofficially declaring 2014 "The Year of Reading Women." Check out this post in The Guardian to see their take on the subject, which includes a list of 250 excellent female-authored reads. Want more details? Click on VIDA's website to see the stats and pie charts.
For my part, I just finished Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement and am starting Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. I adored Tan's latest novel and have heard great things about Tartt's book.
What about you? What female authors have your read lately that you'd recommend?