Congratulations Jennifer Egan: Quintan Ana Wikswo’s Notes from the Studio

12 Mar

This week your friends at Catalysis Projects introduce the fifth in our series of new columns – brief notes from the studios of our Core and Resident Artists. This week our Core Artist Quintan Ana Wikswo points out just how clueless and distasteful the Los Angeles Times can be in reporting on women writers.  

I am quite pleased that Jennifer Egan’s novel “A Visit From the Goon Squad” was awarded the prestigious fiction prize from the National Book Critics Circle last night. Go pick up a copy at Skylight Books. And while you’re at it, pick up a copy of the nonfiction winner, Isabel Wilkerson’s riveting book: The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (sorry Skylight, but you say you don’t carry it).

But I couldn’t be more horrified that the LA Times article today made an atrocious series of choices in announcing Jonathan Franzen NOT winning the award, rather than a talented female writer WINNING the award.

First bad choice? The headline: “Egan beats Franzen in National Book Critics Circle’s Fiction Prize.” Isn’t it enough that she won, without naming the famous man whose work was NOT selected?

Second bad choice? The tagline: “The Jennifer Egan work bests Jonathan Franzen’s ‘Freedom.'” Um, you might want to name the winning book (“A Visit from the Good Squad”) rather than the name of the novel by the man who didn’t win.

Third bad choice? The photograph: of a typically fatuous looking loser Jonathan Franzen, instead of the female winner, Jennifer Egan. Here’s an actual author photograph:

Jennifer Egan

I like the damning article by Cynthia Newberry Martin in Contrary Magazine, who offers an alternative headline:


Click here to respond to the LAt Times:,0,3054191.customform

3 Responses to “Congratulations Jennifer Egan: Quintan Ana Wikswo’s Notes from the Studio”

  1. Chris Roberts March 12, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    Egan won, right? That is the point of an award. The other ninety-nine publications got it right. I’m down with Helen Reddy’s, “I am Woman” anthem, but roar for good cause and don’t overstate the cause.

  2. cynthia March 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    Thanks for the link and the support.


  1. Really? Seriously? Are you sure? « yearwithout straightwhitemen - March 15, 2011

    […] the bright side is the credit for this post: Cynthia Newberry Martin on Contrary Magazine, Catalysis Projects, and my good friend, Lisa who told me about the catastrophe via their posts. You all are why things […]

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