Don’t get me wrong. I love the PEN/Faulkner Foundation: the award for writers, the Writers in the School Program, and the reading series…basically, everything they do and all they stand for. So I’m pleased yet distressed to announce the line-up of readers for the 2008-2009 series; there are some excellent, not-to-be-missed writers coming to town. Details are on the website.
But what I immediately noticed on their brochure were the names of SIX female writers…and THIRTEEN male writers. Funny, because what I’ve noticed when I’ve attended these programs is that the audience is always at least 50 percent women, and usually significantly more than that. Why, why, why is it still so hard for women writers to get some attention from the official gatekeepers?