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Have you ever wandered into a bookstore and found yourself baffled by the shelving of some books? Have you ever read a review that labeled a book written for adults as YA only to bemoan the amount of adult content? What do most of these erroneously shelved books have in common? They’re written by women.
Over the years, women have slowly been making inroads into speculative fiction, what was traditionally a ‘boys’ club’. But we haven’t been given equal footing. Instead, we are told that we must be writing for young people, that our work couldn’t possibly be serious.
At Breaking the Glass Slipper, we love YA, but YA and adult genre fiction are different and it is important to recognise that difference. Especially when YA becomes a shorthand dismissal of women’s writing.
“SFF by women seems to be automatically classified as YA, which is where the error comes from.”
Mentioned in this episode:
- Normal People by Sally Rooney
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- The Hunger Games by Susan Collins
- Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
- ACOTAR by Sarah J Maas
- Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner
- Beast Quest by “Adam Blade”
- Young Bond books by Charlie Higson and Steve Cole
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- The Hero and the Crown by Robin Mckinley
- Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
- Tamora Pierce
- This blog article by Shannon Hale
Just listened to your podcast over dinner and agree with many of your points. As a 53yr old male, I can confirm that in 70s & 80s at school there seemed to be a lot of unconscious bias in what boys and girls should be or could be reading. (I would also say that back then the choice and genre diversity was NOT what we take for granted now with books being available to purchase everywhere physically and virtually. ) As a male looking back I now know that some of the writers we assumed were male at time were writing under pseudonyms or just used initials in their names ( SE Hinton “ The Outsiders” comes to mind. ) However, as a young reader it was always the story that prevailed and Anne McCaffery’s work still prevails as an author who made an impact on a developing young mind Lastly, in middle age I have returned to reading more Speculative, Science Fiction and Fantasy and really enjoy the works of so many new female writers and writers of colour, whose plots and story telling are pushing these genres forward. Yet I dont have the time or energy to invest in an 800 page epic so short stories, novelettes, novellas etc are just the ticket.