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Comments for Gender Does Not Equal Genre

Gender Does Not Equal Genre: 06/09/05

On three different sites I frequent I have recently seen discussions about author gender and author genre. The hypothesis is this: men write books that men will enjoy and women write books that women will enjoy and never the twain shall meet. But this supposition ignores the fact that many readers have a wide range of interests and that authors have the habit of using pseudonyms. Men publish as women and women publish as men. Men and women read all sorts of genres. To be honest, I rarely pay attention to the gender of the author I'm reading. I've read romances by men (Sidney Sheldon), chick-lit by men (I count Christopher Moore in this category) and science fiction by women (McCaffrey, Norton, etc).

Author Christopher Moore has a page on his website asking for recommendations for books by women that he'd actually enjoy. Given the general goofiness of his books, I suspect that he's posted the page just to stir up trouble and be somewhat silly in the process. Lots of folks seem to be taking the pages very seriously. If Moore is being serious, I wonder what sort of genre he thinks he's writing? Since all of the books I've read have had pastel colors and cute little line drawing illustrations on their covers, I've always thought of them as chick lit. I've even seen them in the book stores among the other chick lit.

I'm by no means proposing a boycott of Moore's books (they are quite fun to read). In fact, here are three that I've read and highly recommend: Practical Demonkeeping, Lust Lizard of Meloncholy Cove and Island of the Sequined Love Nun. Just don't take him very seriously. In fact, don't take anyone very seriously who states that men and women are as different as night and day.

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