How Many Female Authors Made The Time List?
Doris Lessing is a woman.
The Golden Notebook is one of 20 books written by female authors on the Time list. I believe I’m correct in saying that Virginia Woolf is the only author with more than one novel on the list (Mrs. Dalloway and To The Lighthouse) so, that said, there are 19 female writers represented.
I’ve heard many people criticize the list for not having enough female representation. And, to be honest with you, I expected there to be less female writers on the list when I actually counted them.
Compare the 20 on the Time list with the Modern Library Best 100 Novels list (the board’s list)–which, by my count, had only 9 novels written by female writers–and the Time list appears to be more representative.
But, still, is 20 enough? Or do you think Lev Grossman (read my interview with him) and Richard Lacayo were biased towards male authors when they were selecting the novels?
By my calculations, here are the 20 novels on the Time list written by women.
The Death of the Heart (1958) by Elizabeth Bowen
The Golden Notebook (1962) by Doris Lessing
Housekeeping (1981) by Marilynne Robinson
The Man Who Loved Children (1940) by Christina Stead
Play It As It Lays (1970) by Joan Didion
Possession (1990) by A.S. Byatt
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) by Muriel Spark
Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) by Zora Neale Hurston
To The Lighthouse (1927) by Virginia Woolf
Under the Net (1954) by Iris Murdoch
White Teeth (2000) by Zadie Smith
What do you guys think? Is the Time List representative of the quality of female writers out there? Here’s the full list if you need a refresher.