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Reviewers Disproportionately Reviewed Books by Male Authors in 2012

Boston Review reviewed 14 women authors (out of 29) in 2012 - peoplewhowrite

Boston Review came closest to reviewing an equal amount of books authored by women

VidaWeb.org posted a series of pie charts representing the number of women book reviewers, women authors reviewed, et al in 2012 and the findings are sadly yet unsurprisingly this: women made up less than half the number of Book Reviewers and Authors reviewed at many of the most influential literary review sources. The Boston Review came closest to equal gender representation, followed by The New York Times Book Review, but most of the pubs hover in the 20-30% range.

The New Republic reviewed 16 women authors (out of 96) in 2012 - peoplewhowrite

Less than 17% of the books reviewed by New Republic were authored by women

Where there are more women reviewers, the percentage of women authors reviewed is higher (with the exception of The Times Literary SupplementThe Nation and London Review of Books). One commenter raised a good point by asking: “do you have any info on the gender composition of the submission stacks received by the magazines?” VidaWeb doesn’t share what percentage of the books submitted for review are overwhelmingly authored by men. We do know that in most cases, the numbers have plunged from 2011.

Interestingly, 2012 was a huge year for women writers from Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn to Fifty Shades of Grey phenom E.L. James. Even more interesting, endless research shows women read more than men. If women read more, why don’t the numbers add up when it comes to reviewers / books reviewed? What are the publications’ excuses? What are the reviewers’ excuses?

The 2012 numbers are below:

Times Literary Supplement – 25.36% of Authors reviewed in 2012 were women
Times Literary Supplement – 29.46% of Book reviewers in 2012 were women

Tin House – 42.11% of Authors reviewed in 2012 were women
Tin House – 30.00% of Book reviewers in 2012 were women

The NYT Book Review – 44.98% of Authors reviewed in 2012 were women
The NYT Book Review – 32.69% of Book reviewers in 2012 were women

The NY Review of Books – 21.98% of Authors reviewed in 2012 were women
The NY Review of Books – 15.69% of Book reviewers in 2012 were women

The Nation – 22.69% of Authors reviewed in 2012 were women
The Nation – 26.67% of Book reviewers in 2012 were women

The Atlantic – 35.48% of Authors reviewed in 2012 were women
The Atlantic – 20.00% of Book reviewers in 2012 were women

The New Republic – 16.67% of Authors reviewed in 2012 were women
The New Republic – 10.23% of Book reviewers in 2012 were women

London Review of Books – 26.91% of Authors reviewed in 2012 were women
London Review of Books – 31.43% of Book reviewers in 2012 were women

Harper’s Magazine – 16.92% of Authors reviewed in 2012 were women
Harper’s Magazine – 8.68% of Book reviewers in 2012 were women

Boston Review – 48.28% of Authors reviewed in 2012 were women
Boston Review – 42.11% of Book reviewers in 2012 were women

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