Wow, I just finished reading a post at the Huffington Post’s site and had to scratch my head in wonderment because I don’t understand why women feel the need to knock other women down. The article is filled with wide sweeping comments aimed at a complete group of writers and their work. I think what bothered me most was when its author Koa Beck wrote, “Commercial books do not deserve serious critique because, generally, the writing does not merit it.”
I want to know what type of “commercial books” Beck read to form her opinion. Sure, there are books which don’t deserve “serious critique.” Occasionally I’ll get irritated enough to write about all the reasons a book is an epic fail. However, I would never generalize an entire writing genre or community because of one or two bad books.
According to Beck, “The recognized style of commercial books is cheaper, less authentic, more formulaic, and more predictable, known for comfortable endings and neatly packaged characters that function more as cartoons than representations of actual people. When it comes down to fiction writing — solid, genuine fiction writing — that attempts to push boundaries and say something unique about our nature or the way we live, commercial lit doesn’t have that kind of reach.”
Do you agree or disagree? Why? What book do you think proves her comment to be ignorant or true? I’d especially like to hear from authors.
Edited to add: The title stems from the section of Beck’s article which states “With the exception of a few female literary giants who are regulars in The New Yorker and the New York Times, it seems that even when a big publication does take note of a compelling female voice, she isn’t nearly as strong a writer as her male colleagues.”