The Agatha Christies, the JK Rowlings and the Sydney Sheldons have a top reader following. But, when it comes to Nobel prizes in literature, only a handful of women have made it to the A-list in a hundred year history.
A Jamshedpur-based woman writer, Vijay Sharma, has addressed the gender bias in the Nobel Prize selections in her book titled Women, Literature and Nobel Prize. The book contains works of the women who have got the highest award in literature.
Her incisive treatment of the subject had become a topic of discussion at the recently held World Book fair in New Delhi.
“My book is an in-depth study of 13 Nobel Prize winning writers. The list includes Alice Munro [current Nobel Prize winner], Herta Mueller, Doris Lessing, Elfriede Jelinek, Wislawa Szymborska, Nadine Gordimer, Toni Morrison, Pearl Buck and five other writers”, says Sharma.
“Without undermining women writers, like Agatha Christie (who is called the queen of crime) and JK Rowling (who again has established herself as the best in her genre), I make it a point that there is no dearth of good writers in serious literature too. However, a very disproportionate number of works has featured in the Nobels,” she argues.
The book was released on Feb 19 at a beautiful function organised by Bharatiya Jnanpith by a leading writer Prempal Sharma.
In the same fair Sharma’s another book titled, Afro-American Literature: The Female Voice [Afro-American Sahitya: Stree Swar] was also released.
She says, “This book is an intensive study of the life and works of all the major Afro-American women writers. The study covers such pioneering writers as Toni Morrison [Nobel Prize Winner], Pulitzer Prize winners Maya Angelou and Alice Walker, besides Sojourner Truth, Linda Brent and several others. I have tried to bring for Hindi readers across the world their voice of anger, protest, rebellion, assertion and the proclamation of independence".