Archives for authors



Is Wikipedia Ghettoizing Female Writers?

The novelist Amanda Filipacchi (a very good writer; I happen to have gone to grad school with her) writes in the Times that female novelists seem to be getting ghettoized on Wikipedia:

I just noticed something strange on Wikipedia. It appears that gradually, over time, editors have begun the process of moving women, one by one, alphabetically, from the “American Novelists” category to the “American Women Novelists” subcategory. So far, female authors whose last names begin with A or B have been most affected, although many others have, too.

The intention appears to be to create a list of “American Novelists” on Wikipedia that is made up almost entirely of men. The category lists 3,837 authors, and the first few hundred of them are mainly men. The explanation at the top of the page is that the list of “American Novelists” is too long, and therefore the novelists have to be put in subcategories whenever possible.

Too bad there isn’t a subcategory for “American Men Novelists.”

Further details are welcome. This piece brings to mind a section of our recent “Women Are Not Men” podcast, reported by Bourree Lam, about the relative scarcity of female editors on Wikipedia — and this followup post about females posing as males online to avoid harassment.



Who’s the Biggest Loser in E-Books?

E-books are growing like crazy. Most of the complaining you may have read is from publishers– that it will be ever harder to stay solvent in an e-book world. But it’s actually authors, not publishers, who take the biggest hit. Read More »



Know Your Scarcity

Fred Brooks, the computer scientist who 35 years ago wrote the still-relevant The Mythical-Man Month, has written a new book, The Design of Design, and Kevin Kelly interviews him in Wired. Read More »



Serious Fun: A Q&A With the Author of Play

Stuart Brown Whether he’s playing tennis with “a convivial group of codgers” or hanging out with his grandkids, Stuart Brown, the author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, plays as often as he can. With a background in neuroscience and behavioral medicine, Brown has studied play globally, […] Read More »



Quotes Uncovered: Why Go to Hell Via Handbasket?

Eight weeks ago, I invited readers to submit quotations for which they wanted me to try to trace the origins, using The Yale Book of Quotations and more recent research by me. Scores of people have responded via comments or e-mails. I am responding as best I can, a couple per week. Quotes Uncovered Here […] Read More »



Our Daily Bleg: More Quote Authors Uncovered

Three weeks ago, I invited readers to submit quotations for which they wanted me to try to trace the origins, using The Yale Book of Quotations and more recent research by me. Dozens responded via comments or e-mails. I am responding as best I can, a couple per week. Mark C asks: I’d love to […] Read More »



Twilight

I was absolutely amazed when I stumbled onto a list of the bestselling books in America a few weeks ago and discovered that one author occupied the top four spots. I am guessing that this has never happened previously in United States book history, or at least not in a long, long time. Image from […] Read More »



Waste Happens: A Q&A With the Author of The Big Necessity

Photo: Felicity Paxton I’ve never thought much about my toilet. (Though we’ve discussed toilets on this blog here, here, and here.) It usually does its job; sometimes it needs a little help from the plunger. Rose George‘s new book The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters not only got […] Read More »