Just a clarification: I’m not suggesting that women automatically be awarded 50% of all literary prizes. (Though, "Isn't it pretty to think so?") What I do wonder is whether there is some bias against the subject matter that women writers may choose, so that domestic books or books about tangled relationships (you know, like Pride and Prejudice) are given short shrift in favor of big, giant books about “important” topics like war. Francine Prose says it so much better than I do, in her Harper’s essay, “The Scent of a Woman’s Ink: Are Women Writers Really Inferior?” found here.
And, on a more pleasant note, I was happy to see that Washington Post author Gene Weingarten was awarded the Pulitzer in feature writing for a memorable article he wrote for the Washington Post Magazine in which highly-acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell played his $3.5 million Stradivarius at the Metro station. How much money was dropped into his violin case? Did anyone recognize that, hey, this guy might be, you know, just a little better than the average street musician? The article, which I linked to last year in this post, is thought-provoking. I highly recommend checking it out!