Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gendered Reading

So, when I am trying to buy a book for N, I almost exclusively buy female authors. If I'm looking at, say, two mysteries as possibilities for her and have no other basis upon which to select one, I will choose the female author. I think this is basically the correct move for me as well, as most of N's favorite authors are female.

When I look at my own books, most of them are male authors. When I created a list of my favorite books a year or two ago, I had like 7 books and 6 of them were male authored and one female authored.

Of course, there are exceptions for both of us. I think I've only read one novel this year, and it was Diana Wynne Jones (Howl's Moving Castle which I read entirely in one day). But generally I seem to prefer male authors and she seems to prefer female authors.

The gender of the protagonist is less important. As I think through N's mysteries and fantasy titles, many, many of them have male protagonists. When I write, which has been a while, I have a female protagonist most of the time. But there is a correlation between the gender of the author and the gender of the reader for us.

How about you? If you don't read, what about other arts? Are you a woman and prefer female singers? It's hard to say with movies, as there are so few female directors in the big studio productions (for instance, if you like action movies, there are almost zero done by women).

What's the word?

8 comments:

Courtney said...

reading novels, generally perfer male authors
writing my own, almost always female lead

who knows!?

Aerin said...

I definitely prefer female writers, though I'm a big fan of John Green and Jasper Fforde.

I have phases of singers - usually I prefer male, but then I'll lapse into need-to-hear-chicks for a year or so, then back to guys.

Phoenix said...

Books I bought 20+ years ago that are faves seem to be a mix of male and female authors. Nowadays, the majority seem to be by females. Not a conscious decision. At least I don't think so.

Main characters of books I read are usually male. Of those I write, a mix.

Most of my reads are fantasy and science fiction. Don't know if my gravitation to more female authors is just indicative of more women writing in certain genres? Or am I now "of an age"? Hmm.

Robin S. said...

I'd say my favorite books are a mix - leaning toward male, though, as I look at my shelves.

I've written a few pieces from a male perspective, but I prefer female.

Actually, now that I took a longer look at my shelves, 80% are male writers - notable exceptions - Harper Lee, Doris Lessing, J K Rowling, Flannery O'Connor. Hmmmm.

writtenwyrdd said...

Well, the military sf I read and really like is almost always done by men, and the fantasy I really really like is nearly always by women authors. There are plenty of good fantasy writers out there who are men and who I read; but the ones I really love are by women.

Must be the perspective on the romantic elements.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Sopranos! Though I do appreciate any talented voice.

I like kick ass female characters. And kick ass male characters who have to overcome a huge obstacle to be so kick ass. The authors who wirte these types of books tend to be female in my experience, though not always. Some of my most favorite books were written by men.

Sarah Laurenson said...

*sigh* The trivia link appears to be broken or something. I've tried searching for our challenge as well and didn't find it.

Ello said...

I love Howl's Moving Castle.

Lately I've been reading nothing but female writers. But my all time favorite modern writer is Ishiguro.

Singers - depends on my mood. No gender preference at all. Just my mood.

Movies - if it has Clive Owen, I'm watching it. I lurve him!!