Why bestselling author Jennifer Weiner wants men to put her novel in their beach bag

Everyone remembers the books they read in high school, from literature classics like “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” to “Catcher in the Rye.” How many of the classics were written by women? Number one New York Times bestselling novelist Jennifer Weiner is determined to change the way books written by contemporary female authors are sold and reviewed.

“Women are the readers. And we read books by women, we read books by men, we read all the books,” Weiner told SalonTV’s Mary Elizabeth Williams. “Nobody has to do any sort of special arranging to signal to us that Dave Eggers is okay or John Cheever is okay, we just, we read men in school and we were taught that that was literature with a capital L and so we read books by men.” But for men, Weiner says, women authors were never given the same respect.

Weiner has built a career writing the kind of female-friendly, relationship-oriented fiction that typically gets dismissed as "chick lit,” and found massive success. She’s known for bestselling novels like “Good in Bed” and “In Her Shoes,” and has over 11 million copies in print in 36 countries. Her latest book “Mrs. Everything” follows two sisters from Detroit living through the women’s liberation movement and the different paths they choose.

Watch the video above to hear Weiner break down how she and other female authors are fighting for respect in literature today. And check out Weiner’s full episode to hear about the changes she is seeing in the publishing industry around sexism.

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