Cover Me

Since Maureen Johnson’s coverflip book challenge thrust the gendered nature of book covers (particularly YA covers, but no genre is without sin) into the spotlight, there has been a great deal of discussion on the matter. Marketing books to women as though 51% of the global population were some niche market is bad enough, but, as I’ve said on this blog before, “girl covers” for books by women or featuring female protagonists tend to be both condescending and wholly unrelated to the book’s content.

It’s as though “girl books” take place in a magical pink universe full of feet, dandelions, and cheesecake close-ups, regardless of whether the book is about the pressures of high school, trauma and its aftermath, or WWII. This discussion comes on the heels of a seemingly clandestine effort to remove female authors from the American Novelists page on Wikipedia. They’re not authors, they’re Lady Authors. They need a special lady page full of unicorns and pillow fights.

Anyway, Alison Croggon, author of my favorite epic fantasy series, has added her voice to the conversation. You can read her take here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/australia-culture-blog/2013/jun/05/young-adult-gendered-covers

Further reading:

Cover Story

Coverflip: Maureen Johnson Calls For An End To Gendered Book Covers With An Amazing Challenge

The most incongruous book covers of all time

What’s In a Category? ‘Women Novelists’ Sparks Wiki-Controversy

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About boundandgaggedbooks

Shannon is a freelance writer and folklore buff. She has a degree from Hampshire College in Creative Writing/Mythology & Religion, with an emphasis on epic/oral traditions, their anthropological implications, and their modern counterparts. Her work can be found in Fabulously Feminist, Wolf Wariors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology, The Concord Monitor, Redhead Magazine, and The Climax.

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