Book covers and gender

Earlier this month HuffPo ran a fun feature on gendered book covers.  I.e., what if you took book covers that were marketed to men and flipped them to appeal to women– and vice versa.  A fun idea– here’s a few examples:


Pretty cool.  Anyway, I was reminded of this by a very interesting essay in Slate about likability in female characters.  Apparently, if you are a woman and write likable female characters, people take your work less seriously.   Personally, I just finished a great novel with a very likable male character (and a likable, but subsidiary, female character).  But, I also love novels with more complex, darker characters (Humbert Humbert, anyone).  The likability of the characters just strikes me as a strange way to judge the literary aspirations of fiction.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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