Gender Disparity in Australian Book Reviews

Gender inequality in Australian book reviews.

The Stella Prize along with Books+Publishing, has released statistics showing the gender breakdown of reviews in the Sydney Review of Books and the Saturday Paper. The Stella Count ‘Redux’ focuses on ‘two new publications whose weekly book reviews generate much public interest’, and includes book reviews published in the Saturday Paper from 1 March to 31 December 2014 and in the Sydney Review of Books from 1 January to 31 December 2014.

At the Saturday Paper, which publishes reviews under pseudonymous initials, 63% of reviews were of books by male authors and 37% female authors. According to the statistics the gender breakdown of reviewers was 60% male and 40% female. Two-thirds of the Saturday Paper’s reviews by male reviewers were of books by male authors, which supports the 2014 Stella Count finding that male reviewers are far more likely to review books by male authors than female authors.

At the Sydney Review of Books, 64% of reviews were of books by male authors and 36% female authors, while 59% of its reviewers were male and 41% female. Seventy-eight percent of SRB’s reviews by male reviewers were of books by male authors.

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