The Gender Wars: Jodi Picoult vs. Jeffery Eugenides
Jeffery Eugenides had choice words to say about Jodi Picoult to Salon, “I didn’t really know why Jodi Picoult is complaining. She’s a huge best-seller and everyone reads her books, and she doesn’t seem starved for attention.”
This was a reply to a tweet that Jodi sent out that read “[The New York Times] raved about Franzen’s new book. Is anyone shocked? Would love to see the NYT rave about authors who aren’t white male literary darlings.”
Here is more of what Eugenides said:
“I think that Zadie Smith is treated exactly like one of the literary male authors that had been brought into this category. It seems to me that there’s a difference between the kinds of books that Jonathan Franzen writes and Jodi Picoult writes — so it’s not surprising to me that they’re treated differently in terms of review coverage or literary coverage. I don’t think that’s based on gender.
I think right now probably the writer that every writer loves the most is Alice Munro. I teach with Joyce Carol Oates; I don’t think she suffers from this. To me, it’s a question of actual category writing. It was kind of a genre novel bumping up against a literary novel. I think those are actually different things. I don’t think it had to do with male or female.”
Picoult sent out a tweet in response to the interview, saying “He is right about [divisions] [between] [literary] and commercial fiction. Bottom of totem pole: a female writer of color who writes genre [commercial] fiction.”