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V.S. Naipaul and Women Writers
I just read an article about a very famous and well-respected postcolonial author named V.S. Naipaul: VS Naipaul finds no woman writer his literary match – not even Jane Austen. I was very saddened when reading this article because I've always respected Naipaul's works; I've studied him a lot in my literature classes. To read that he thinks so little of female authors is quite disheartening.

So, I've brought the article to the attention of Cafe Libri Readers. Does anyone have thoughts or comments after reading it? I've also posted a question about it in the community where you can express whether there is a difference between women's and men's writing styles.

And for those who want a little test, here is a quiz you can take about gender writing: The Naipaul test: Can you tell an author's sex? Let us know how you scored!

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by    Posted june 14, 2011
This is so offensive and apparently, my answer is no since I scored 4 out of 10 LOL. I believe that he must be so lacking in attention or any kind of self-confidence as to have to put down another author and an entire sex, just to get a rise out of people and feed his ego.
by    Posted june 14, 2011
Ditto what she said. :)
by    Posted june 15, 2011
First and foremost, readers rate writers. Let me quote from "The Last Man" by Mary Shelley. (one of my favorite authors) "The translucent and shining waters of the calm sea covered fragments of old Roman villas, which were interlaced by sea-weed, and received diamond tints from the chequering of the sunbeams; the blue and pelucid element was such as Galacia might have skimmed in her car of mother of pearl; or Cleopatra , more fitly than the Nile , have chosen as the path of her magic ship. " That has got to be literature of the highest order. Joseph/ Dr. Joseph S. Maresca
by    Posted june 17, 2011
I agree @! Part of me wonders if it is a cultural difference, or if he's purposefully being an ass to get more advertising for his novels.

I got the same score too, Sam! LOL! I was surprised because I recognized a lot of the titles after the fact.

I also agree with you, @! Readers rate writers, and we are the ones that claim whether a novel/read is any good. The writer can be full of himself as much as he wants, but if the readers don't like the books, they won't sell.

Thanks for sharing the quote from Mary Shelley. She is also one of my favorite authors!
by    Posted june 18, 2011
Thanks for agreeing with me on the writings of Mary Shelley. SAT scores would soar if everyone read her books- written with the highest order of literary skill.
by    Posted june 18, 2011
You would hope so...but there are some people that are just not good at standardized tests. I know I'm not. I get test anxiety. :-P

One thing that surprises me is that Naipaul never speaks about female Trinidad or Caribbean authors in the interview. Instead, he criticizes Jane Austen, attacking a female British canon author and then generalizes all women writers into one large category.

I've been impressed with female authors who write from a similar space as Naipaul, such as Edwidge Danticat and Jamica Kincaid. I would say their writings are just as impressive, if not more so, than some of Naipaul's.
by    Posted june 19, 2011
I got 7 out of 10 on the Naipaul test...very interesting.
by    Posted june 28, 2011
You did great on the quiz, Sheri! Had you read any of the books listed before? Did you recognize the author's writing styles or were you purely going by what was written?
by    Posted june 28, 2011
No, Adrianna, the text on the quiz didn't look familiar...I just went with my gut and looked at what the character was saying and whether I felt it was true to whether the character was a female or male. That's not to say that a female writer can't write male characters and vice versa, but I think we write what we know best--ourselves.
by    Posted june 28, 2011
Very good point! I know what you mean and agree to an extent.

I recognized some of the writers/writing styles, which made some of the choices I made a little easier. I didn't closely analyze the voices purely because I wasn't even sure if I **should** take the quiz at first.
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