Research by the literary group VIDA shows that women struggle to make it into the pages of our major magazines. The study of 2010 bylines and book reviews includes mainstream magazines such as The Atlantic and the New Yorker, as well as low circulation, yet significant publications such as Paris Review and Granta.
Tellingly, the ratio of men’s to women’s books being reviewed is often, if not always, wider than the ratio of male to female bylines. The New Republic reviewed 55 books by men and only nine by women. The New Yorker reviewed 33 books by men and nine by women. The New York Review of Books reviewed 306 books by men and 59 by women—a slightly better ratio than its overall bylines but hardly even. In its section of old or “lost” books, Tin House published 18 essays about books by men and four about books by women. In all the categories VIDA studied, I found only two cases of women outnumbering men: In its “capsule” review section, the Atlantic reviewed more books by women than men, and Poetry reviewed 11 books by women and nine by men.