Last year, the US-based group VIDA — created to promote women in the literary arts — released these bright red and blue pie charts showing how many women and men were reviewed in, or wrote for, various high-profile literary publications during 2010. The response was much soul searching the literary world over. In Australia the release of the figures was quickly followed by an all-male shortlist (of three) for the 2011 Miles Franklin award. The combination of these facts led to plenty of discussion and ultimately, the establishment of the Stella Prize for women’s writing.
Come 2012 and VIDA has released “the count” for 2011 — and the pies haven’t changed all that much. Honourable mentions go to the Boston Review and Granta, dishonourable mention to the New York Review of Books (seven female authors reviewed, 293 male authors reviewed). But what about Australia?