Tag Archives: women in fiction

The Lack of Important Roles in Fiction for Women (and Blacks, and Gays, and Latinos, and…Name It, It’s Missing)

I was rivited by this post because it speaks to so much of the frustration I feel with MANY novels in MANY genres. So, although I haven’t read this particular book, I am thankful for this in-depth analysis and comments…especially those that offer simple solutions.
I’m an author an a heavy fiction reader. I love all kinds of books but am constantly disappointed by how few “good roles” are given to women. I give GREAT roles to women in my own novels. Not to make up for the broader lack but because they are strong women with strong minds and they want to make a difference in their worlds.
I’ve found that this “oops, I didn’t include any women” (or black, or lesbian, or other underrepresented group member) comment comes from authors who aren’t putting themselves in others’ minds.
Authors first and foremost must transfer themselves into other people. They have to expand their compassion and their intellect to see, feel, hear, taste and smell the world as some other. So when men don’t write women and white people don’t write Latino characters and straight authors ignore gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning folks, they fail. They fail their stories and their readers. They fail our society, because nothing helps us reach across boundaries better than great fiction.

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