Bertha Speaks

The Guardian published Robert McCrum’s list of “The Best 100 Novels Written in English.”  Out of 100 titles, 21 are written by women.

“Bertha” by Patrick Montanaro

Robert McCrum recently published his  “Best 100 Novels Written in English.”  McCrum’s an associate editor of the Observer, he was editor-in-chief of the publishers Faber & Faber, was the literary editor of the Observer, and has been a regular contributor to the Guardian since 1990. I respect his considerable knowledge and experience. The man definitely has street cred.

Yet when he published this list, I had to protest. Out of 100 titles, only 21 are written by women. It’s obvious that important, critically relevant  works by women were excluded in favor of less critically relevant works by men. So I asked some book club members to help come up with our own list of works of narrative fiction by women.

I’d like to thank Robert McCrum, however, because as a direct result of the omissions in his list, we now have this little journal.  It’s hoped that many more good-natured debates regarding literary lists and conversation about canon will follow. Welcome to this inaugural issue of The Thornfield Review, Fall, 2015; where we examine all literature and particularly literature of the underrepresented. Enjoy.

Here’s a link to the McCrum’s list in The Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/aug/17/the-100-best-novels-written-in-english-the-full-list

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