The Publishers Weekly list of the "100 best books of 2009" includes shockingly few works by women. So what else is new? The Sisters in Crime response has been posted by SinC President Marcia Talley at

Take a look and offer your own views on the topic.

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I don't know why some women enjoy reading about women being mutilated and tortured, but there's no denying that women make up a big chunk of the market for that sort of book. If you write about serial killers, your victims will probably be women, and that aligns with reality. According to FBI statistics, most serial killers are men and most of them kill only women. (Gacy and Dahmer were exceptions.)
Boy! I have to sit back and admire the way Jon and John D can just pick a subject and create a mountain-goat butting heads brawl with just a few well chosen words!

Makes me all teary-eyed in admiration.
Love it! And yes, more power to them. Even though Jon is wrong on this occasion.
I think Jon is right on this occasion. If most people flipped a coin and got 10 heads in a row, I doubt they'd say "well, perhaps heads are just more prevalent this year".

The subjectivity of 'best' confuses the issue. You'd expect more women to turn up, simply by chance; it's massively improbable for them not to. So either there was a selection bias (of some kind) or else women didn't write as well as men this year. Does that last option really make any sense?
But this argument has nothing whatsoever to do with quality. Coins are all the same. Books are not.
And subjectivity isn't really the only issue. It exists. But objective judgment also exists. One hopes the judges know a good book when they read it, and one hopes their criteria are sufficiently high.
I know I could never be on any kind of judging committee or jury for anything like this. By the time a book has passed through the agent/editor/publisher requirements almost all are of a certain quality. Especially these days when almost ever writer has been through a creative writing degree and most have an MA in creative writing. Pretty much any kind of objective criteria would be met by pretty much every book. All we're left with is subjective.
I think there's often a clear objective difference between mere technical competence (what the generic MFA ought to confer, at the very least) and anything like mastery and/or genuine invention. But it may be true that you have to have pretty broad experience as a reader to know the difference.
Well, that's the theory...
Here, this should help.
Oh, Lord! We still scored placement essays. Our complaints had more to do with computerized multiple choice English language exams.

There's a lot wrong with the folks who run our education system.
A program such as that to analyze speech and writing is something up with which we should not have to put.
Dude. I don't care if it doesn't work--I want one. Do you know how much easier my life would be if I didn't have to actually read the papers I assign?


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