On Thursday evening, "apropos of absolutely everything," author Maris Kreizman started sharing her favorite debut novels of 2017 that had been written by women.
"I think it's time for a list of women writers who put out strong, promising debuts in 2017," Kreizman wrote, adding a bracing, "Ready?" She proceeded to share 12 books that debuted this year, all of them authored by women, and all of them literary debuts. The tweet has well over a thousand likes, and Kreizman's thread inspired other users to start sharing their own favorites as well. (Kreizman is a bit of a Twitterlebrity — Vogue called her and her husband Josh Gondelman the "George and Amal" of the Twitterati.)
"I think we're beginning to realize that men have been gatekeepers in the literary world for so long that their status quo has become ours," Kreizman wrote in an email to Refinery29. Kreizman is illuminating that which has become clear in the months since the New York Times published its exposé of Harvey Weinstein: There's been a tectonic shift in the status quo. Just two days ago, Lorin Stein stepped down from his role as editor of The Paris Review due to an investigation into sexual misconduct.
With that in mind, it's time to celebrate women writers. "I wanted to focus on some up-and-coming writers who may or may not have been overlooked, and whose work I really admire," Kreizman says. She is an authority in this area; for the last year, Kreizman was the editorial director of Book of the Month. She is also the author of Slaughterhouse 90210, a Tumblr dedicated to pairing literary quotes with images from television. The Tumblr became a book in 2015. Slaughterhouse 90210, Kreizman has said, is meant to demonstrate that books are relevant. It's a way of championing writing and television at the same time.
Here, she has a similar task. Kreizman adds, "We've heard about powerful men being champions of women's writing, helping to break them out. But women can do it for themselves. All of the books I listed are by women whose careers are just beginning, and I can't wait to see what they do next."
What does she want out of this exercise? Just for people to buy these books. Ahead, the debut novels and essay collections from women that Kreizman wants you to read — plus a few more that Kreizman didn't mention on Twitter. (These forgotten books were left on the cutting room floor because she's talked about them too much already.)
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