Tempest in a teapot? Oh, wait. That’s kind of…domestic.

This post was written by Friday blogger Annie Reid.

There’s a bit of a firestorm over on the Guardian web pages over the editors’ introduction to the new anthology New Writing 13, compiled by Ali Smith and Toby Litt, who apparently use the opportunity to “make a sweeping condemnation of the subject matter, writing style and preoccupations of female writers”:

In the introduction to the collection the authors write: “On the whole the submissions from women were disappointingly domestic, the opposite of risk-taking – as if too many women writers have been injected with a special drug that keeps them dulled, good, saying the right thing, aping the right shape, and melancholy at doing it, depressed as hell.”

Their criticisms drew angry responses from leading authors yesterday, some accusing them of consigning the works of Chekhov, Tolstoy and Woolf to the critical dustbin by suggesting the domestic was never exciting, powerful or worthy as a subject matter.

You can read the introduction yourself here, and some examples of pissed-off reactions here. Maud Newton dot com fave AL Kennedy weighs in , and the editors defend themselves further.

Whatchooo think, y’all? Pass on your comments to me at annie at maud newton dot com, and we’ll chat about this more in a few weeks.


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