Jennifer Weiner Rightly Slams NYT For Lack Of Female Author Profiles
9:52 am, July 9th | by Laura Donovan
With the release of her latest book, bestselling novelist Jennifer Weiner has a ton on her plate, but she still made time to call out the New York Times for its insufficient and underwhelming coverage of female authors.
Speaking to NPR, the “Next Best Thing” novelist said she’d appreciate it if the Gray Lady would “[treat her] books with respect”:
“I’d love it, sure, if the [New York] Times sort of treated my books with respect. I think the Times should make space for commercial women’s fiction the same way they make space for commercial men’s fiction. I think I went through a year’s worth of the New York Times and found that of the people who hit the trifecta, which is two reviews and a profile, which is sort of the most love they can give you, it was 10 guys and one woman. And the women are still showing up in the style section, and they’re still showing up in profiles that talk about their hair…I don’t know if it’s on purpose, I would hate to think that it is, but I just, I so truly and deeply believe that it’s something that needs to change.”
This of course isn’t the first time the feisty New York Times bestselling author has had a bone to pick with the media. After the release of Jonathan Franzen’s highly-lauded work of fiction, “Freedom,” Weiner said the male scribe received “overcoverage” from the Times. Fellow bestselling author Jodi Picoult shared a similar sentiment, attesting that the publication favors “white male literary darlings.”
Some essentially told Picoult and Weiner to move on, but it wasn’t long before their point was reiterated with data. A report from earlier this year reveals that men continue to dominate the bylines from a wide variety of outlets — including the New York Times Book Review, for which women account for just 34.42 percent of bylines, according to the Columbia Journalism Review.
With fewer women writing for newspapers and magazines, it’s easy to understand why there aren’t many female authors profiled in the Times. It’s inspiring to see the prolific, tireless Weiner continue to fight the good fight, especially while she’s up to her ears in work and promotional appearances, and more women should follow suit.