The Chicken or the Egg?

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, former editor of the New York Times Book Review, responds to the assertion that only while male authors are getting their books reviewed:
I think it reflects what's being published. Does the book review - I don't know what's being published by smaller presses that might be publishing Latino writers, for example, African-American writers. But the major houses are simply doing less diverse books in every respect because they are aiming for the bestseller list.
Listen to his entire NPR interview here.


  1. I actually listened to that interview, and was sickened by the way he did everything he could to dodge the questions. The fact that books by woman writers took so many literary prizes this year shows that there is a lot of great work being done by writers of both sexes, and they should be reviewed, too. I'm not sure that the NYTBR is sexist, but the fact that a vast majority of their reviews are also written by white men and Mr. Lehmann-Haupt's refusal to give adequate answers to repeated questions doesn't help their case.

  2. Isacc, It is interesting that he either dodges the question or blames it on the book publishing industry. However at one point he does say diversity is not a priority when it comes to reviewing books. But I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought it was bull shit. I think a lot of publishing houses strive to publish diverse authors while also aiming for the bestseller list. It doesn't have to be one or the other.