October 26th, 2003

This IS me (by schwitters)Default

She said, you don't read women authors do you...I said, you're way wrong

As you may have heard, the individual responsible for Bridget Jones's Diary is now writing a novel about a female espionage agent. I anticipate reading it, loudly deriding it, and secretly wishing I had written it.

The book itself is not what I am up in arms about. Rather, an article pertaining to it in the Evening Standard which suggests that women novelists (apart from La Fielding and, er, Jane Austen) can't do funny.

I was all set to point out Nancy Mitford, Erica Jong and Sue Townsend, and that's just off the top of me head, when I noticed that the author of the piece (Gill Hornby, 'writer and critic') was basing this statement on the crop of chick lit novels which have sprung up in the wake of Bridget. Which is rather like saying men can't write funny novels and using Tony Parsons as supporting evidence.

To my mind, our greatest current funny female novelist is Jacqueline Wilson. If you want plot, character and dialogue that bring both a twitch to the funnybone and a tug to the heartstrings, look no further than The Bed And Breakfast Star or The Lottie Project.

While I'm at it, I trust Clive Cussler is aware that 'Trojan Odyssey' is a bloody daft title for a book, Odysseus being a Greek and thus on the opposite side to the Trojans?

I'm sure all is explained within its no doubt fascinating pages. I have grappled with one or two Dirk Pitt tales in my time and all I can say is give me 'Goldfinger' any day.
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