Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A WOMAN WITH A MAN'S NAME TAKES THE ORANGE PRIZE

Lionel Shriver has won the Orange Prize for her novel, 'We Have to Talk about Kevin'. I find this interesting for a couple of reasons:

1. 'Kevin' isn't just a book literary people like. It's a novel that actual flesh and blood readers might also want to to give up a few hours of their life for. It has a fascinating premise: what happens when an ordinary couple give birth to a child who turns into a teenage psychopath? It also has a couple of crowd pleasing "Hitchcockian twists".

2. Lionel Shriver was born Margaret Ann, but as a teenager changed her name. Now, I'm not attributing her success to the name change, because as I've said, she's obviously earned it the old fashioned way--by writing a great book. However, with a recent study showing that women read books written by both sexes equally, while men tend to stick to work written by their own, writing under a man's name is a wise career move. If the study is accurate, that means Lionel automatically would have twice as many potential readers as Margaret Ann. In 2005! Hmmm...maybe I should consider a name change. I'd consider Patrick Francis, but that happens to be the name of my ex, and I doubt he wants to loan it out--especially to the likes of me. How about George Sand, Jr.?

6 comments:

gulnaz said...

i read a little of your posts and want to read all of your writings!!
glad u came across my poor blog, thanks for that and come again!

Sharon Hurlbut said...

I wonder if initials work the same way as having a man's name? Did anyone know J.K. Rowling was a woman at first? Glad I came across your blog - I'll be back.

rdl said...

Well i wonder how many women there are like me that mostly only read women.

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