Men Still Take Biggest Slice Of Literary Pie

A study by the US literary organization Vida over the last three years has found that little is changing when it comes to bias shown towards men in the literary world.

The study found that male authors take a disproportionate share of the literary pie and that publications show a consistent bias toward men when it comes to reviews in the most prestigious literary magazines.

The study found that in 2012, 24% of the reviewers at the London Review of Books were women, with 27% of the books reviewed written by women. In the same year, at the New York Review of Books, 16% of the book reviewers were women and 22% of the books reviewed written by women. The Times Literary Supplement in 2012 fared slightly better: 30% of reviewers were women and 25% of all books reviewed were written by women.

Vida has been monitoring the situation for three years and said that at Harpers, The New Republic, and The Paris Review, the number of women reviewers has actually fallen and in some cases dramatically.

At the Guardian Review,  177 book reviews were by male authors and 63 by women in 2012.  The Guardian quotes non-fiction books editor Paul Laity as saying it is a situation that the Guardian is trying to redress. "It has complicated causes that go deeper than than the whims or prejudices of literary editors," he added.