“Knausgaard Writes Like a Woman”
In her 1856 essay, “Silly Novels by Lady Novelists,” George Eliot wrote, “Happily, we are not dependent on argument to prove that Fiction is a department of literature in which women can, after their kind, fully equal men.” Would anyone argue with this today? Is writing an activity that depends on the sex of the writer? If it does, what does that mean? A survey in 2015 by Goodreads revealed that on average 80 percent of a woman writer’s audience is female as opposed to 50 percent for a man writer’s. In other words, men who write fiction have an audience representative of the world as a whole while women don’t. No doubt there are particular writers who defy that average. Many more women read fiction than men. Still, a literary text is just that—pages of print. If that print has a male narrator, is it masculine? Does a female protagonist make it feminine? Is there some other quality that marks a book as sexed? Lithub, December 10, 2015. Read the article.