Responses are flying in. It's good to see this topic generate such a flurry of articles and discussions. My writing group is abuzz.
Here is Katha Pollitt, at Slate.
"As in those studies that show men overestimate the number of women in a group—one-third feels like half, half feels like a majority—a big piece by a woman two years ago feels like it was published last week, and one or two pieces by women feels like half the magazine."
Kind of like how racist whites feel about blacks moving into the the neighborhood, eh? If you look at the weak rebuttal in Tin House, the argument there, that they had a women's issue in 2007 -- over three years ago -- fits perfectly with Pollitt's argument.
Here is Percival Everett on The Great American Novel.
"I do not believe that apparent authoritative literary voices of validation would ever make such a grand claim about a novel written by a woman. I say this because I believe there are many novels by women that are about the same sort of world as presented in Freedom. Sadly, the culture usually calls these books domestic or family sagas. Are the novels of Anne Tyler, Marilynne Robinson and Mona Simpson any less white and middle “American” than Franzen’s? They are certainly at least every bit as literary and arguably better written, whatever that means. And they do not suffer the needless verbosity of Freedom. Were a woman to use so many additional words, the prose would be called floral or poetic or maybe even excessive."
"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield