‘A testicular hit-list of literary big cats’

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Kon Yu, Natalie ORCID: 0000-0003-2023-6910 (2016) ‘A testicular hit-list of literary big cats’. Overland, 223. 14 - 20. ISSN 1444-3163


This essay explores the issue of gender and literary prize culture. By using data from three major Anglophone prizes (the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Man/Booker Prize and the Pulitzer Prize), as well as the work of organisations such as VIDA: Women and the Literary Arts (US) and The Stella Prize (Australia), I will argue that women are more likely to win prestigious literary awards if their work features a male protagonist. This paper will pay close attention to several works by women which have won major awards and emphasis that women only do win literary awards when they adhere to the ‘measure of men’, to use Roxane Gay’s phrase. The essay posits that the real issue in women’s writing is that of readership; that is that books by women are more likely to be read by women whereas books by male authors have both male and female readers. Given this trend, it is unsurprising that women’s writing continue to be marginalised and under-valued

Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/34506
Edition Winter
Official URL https://overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-223/...
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Historical > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Keywords women's writing; literary prizes
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