New Yorker blogger Macy Halford trivializes author Jennifer Egan

The editor of the “Book Bench” at The New Yorker writes excitedly that four professional writers are on Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 “World’s Most Influential People.” In her blog, Macy Halford doesn’t emphasize that two of the four writers are women: the courageous and pioneering Chinese journalist Hu Shuli and the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan.

Wondering what criteria Time uses to select the writers, Halford quotes some of the accolades awarded to Jonathan Franzen and George R. R. Martin. But in mentioning Jennifer Egan, Halford seems to indict the author of Time’s blurb

Curtis Sittenfeld on Jennifer Egan offers less by way of explanation of the writer’s impact, but is still informative:

Halford chooses only the following from Sittenfeld’s tribute to illustrate:

I’ve had the pleasure of crossing paths with Egan, 48, over the years (yes, her cheekbones really are as magnificent as they look in the picture).

What was Halford thinking? That Egan’s “magnificent” cheekbones somehow inform her writing? That they explain something about Egan’s impact as a writer? And why did Halford ignore Sittenfeld’s other characterizations, such as Egan’s “ferocious intelligence,” her “distinctive lucidity” and that “she writes with the clarity and sharpness of a pane of glass”?

It’s bad enough−even laughable−when antediluvian men do this sort of thing, but a woman?

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Filed under Journalism, People, Women

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