Women and Writing in Spain: Esther Tusquets, Laura Freixas and María Ángeles Cabré in Conversation

Nostromo has an excellent episode with Esther Tusquets, Laura Freixas and María Ángeles Cabré where they talk about the state of writing  by women in Spain. It is not a secret that writing by women in Spain tends to be less valued by many different criteria: numbers published, appearance on best of lists, prizes. Freixas has some interesting numbers: 70 percent of degrees in letters go to women, but only 20 percent of books are published by women, only 10 percent of prizes are awarded to women, and only 6 percent of the Cevervantes prize have gone to women. They went on to discus what are the mindsets that lead to this disparity. Freixas noted that writing by women is often portrayed as women’s writing, but writing by men is writing about the human condition. She had a great example of the strange distinction that is often made. Moby Dick which doesn’t have an women characters, is not called men’s literature, but a book that has all women as characters is (I believe she had an example but I can’t remember it). The interview with Tusquets is interesting, too, because she was an editor in addition to being a writer and has a good perspective on the subject.