Considering the fact that women remain woefully underrepresented in the literary world, it came as a pleasant surprise today that this year's prestigious BBC National Short Story Awards shortlist is entirely -- as in 100 percent -- dominated by females.
After a series of little-known novels throughout the 1990s, Shriver burst into the public conscience with the Orange Prize-winning We Need to Talk About Kevin in 2003. Her latest novel, Big Brother, is a sobering look at obesity and its effect on relationships.
Between my debut and this book, an entirely different novel and a few other partial manuscripts had languished: unfinished, unloved. No wonder I've always been drawn to stories of other novelists with unpublished or simply abandoned novels.
Bigotry. Intolerance. Censorship. Not words that you would normally associate with a literature festival. Yet, over the last six days at the Jaipur Literature Festival, they've dominated panel discussions, been whispered during readings, and littered furious debates around tea stalls.
If women's books aren't reviewed, when women's books are declared "less literary, and when women's books on family are declared women's fiction, while men's domestic books are declared brave and eye-opening, it adds many pounds to the micro-inequality pile.