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Nicola Griffith's female novelist's charts show books about women rarely win awards

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Sven Creutzmann/Mambo photo/Getty Images

Novelist Nicola Griffith has brought a huge problem to light, posting a series of simple pie charts on her blog. The problem? Books about women and girls rarely win big literary prizes, like the Pulitzer Prize, Man Booker Prize, and National Book Award.

Looking at the Pulitzer Prizes awarded over the past 15 years, from 2000 to 2015, Griffith found that zero out of the fifteen winners were books written by women, from the point of view of a woman or girl.

“For the prize that recognizes ‘the most distinguished fiction by an American author,'” Griffith writes, “not a single book-length work from a woman’s perspective or about a woman was considered worthy. Women aren’t interesting, this result says. Women don’t count.”

meta-chart.com

Griffith tells Fusion that she’s had her eye on these discrepancies for quite a while: “I’ve been counting, subconsciously then consciously, for 20 years when I was first published and started to see how skewed the playing field was.” According to Fusion, Griffith was very “clear that she considers these graphs only the first draft of what she hopes will be much more research into how the literary system works and who it rewards.”

We look forward to reading her future research on the topic, but in the meantime, check out Griffith’s data and extrapolations, as well as her follow-up blog post about potential solutions.