Bookish World Domination? Time to solve the mystery!
Many bookworms like mysteries, so I have a mystery for you to solve today!
Are girls dominating the Bookiverse? Or at least taking over the book titles?
Why are there SO MANY book titles with the word “GIRL”?
Have you noticed that too?
This is just a sample with what was on NetGalley a few weeks ago. SEVENTY FOUR available for request And previously on NetGalley? ONE THOUSAND!
A search using “Boys”, showed only 18 titles available and 407 previously on NetGalley.
Searches using “Woman” and “Women” didn’t come much closer either:
Nor did searches using “Man” and “Men”:
Emily St. John Mandel, best-selling author of Station Eleven, was curious too and looked at 2,000 of most popular in Goodreads with “girl” in the title. And what she found is interesting [read the article]:
- 79% of the authors of “girl” books were women
- 85% of the time, the “girl” made it through the novel alive.
- But “If a book with ‘girl’ in the title was written by a man, the girl is more likely to end up dead.” (girls end up dead 17% of the time in books written by men versus only 5% for female authors)
- 65% of the time, the “girl” was in fact a woman, and only 28% of time the character was a “girl”
“her editor Jennifer Jackson at Knopf, the distinction of “girl” rather than “woman” potentially “hints at a vulnerability that raises the stakes.”
The end of the “girls” trend is nowhere in sight for book titles, according to St. John Mandel. Her Goodreads analysis shows, “This year is shaping up to be the biggest year for ‘girls’ in fiction in decades, with nearly 1 percent of fiction titles featuring the word ‘girl’ in the title.” So don’t be surprised next time you head to the bookstore and see the word “girl” everywhere.
This article also offers some insight…
The word girl seemed to offer a subversive wink. It veiled a bad ass female in in the name of something naïve and innocent – a child – and ‘girl’ suddenly forged a new, elusive meaning for me. ‘Girl’ unhinged itself from what I’d always associated with my own girlhood – pig tails, eye rolling, selling girl scout cookies to the neighbors. ‘Girl’ no longer even fit the age group I had once supposed it did. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was about a woman not a child
So it seems the idea is to bank on the vulnerability the word “Girl” offers and then surprise the reader when “the Girl” [which is really a woman] is smart enough to survive?
What do you think? Let’s talk!
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Bookworm, book blogger, writer, collector of stories that matter and passionate about feminism, diversity, and equality.