Written by Jenny Brady on Saturday, September 29th, 2012

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.”


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