Electric Literature has launched a new biweekly series, as part of its "Read More Women" campaign, that it bills as a direct response to the New York Times column "By the Book." The series is the result of a partnership with FSG's MCD imprint.
"The Read More Women campaign was actually born out of Andy Weir's now-notorious 'By the Book,' in which he cited no women writers," Electric Lit executive director Halimah Marcus said. This series, she added, is intended as a "stripped-down, feminist" corrective to that column.
In each installment, an author will discuss "five books by women and non-binary writers that have been important to them," and kicks off today with a piece by author Maria Dahvana Headley, whose novel The Mere Wife was released by MCD earlier this week. Further authors confirmed to be taking part in the project include such authors as Tayari Jones (who will pen the series' second column), Carmen Maria Machado, Araminta Hall, Luís Alberto Urrea, Alexander Chee, Min Jin Lee, and Lauren Groff.
"We can't escape being born into a society that has contempt for women tattooed on its bones, but we can change ourselves," Groff said in response to the series. "It is vastly important to read more female authors: to see women as worthy of our imagination and respect, to understand a woman's full humanity, to reclaim authors who have been unjustly forgotten by time because of their gender, to meet the minds of geniuses new to us, to expand the canon, and to work toward the equality of all humans that is promised by the better angels of our society, but which in our actions and silent and insidious biases we so often fail."