David Gilmour: Women Writers You Should Read

27th Sep 2013

Amy Tan and a dog
You've probably read David Gilmour's recent comments about women writers. Here's four we think might change his mind.

So a few days ago some relatively unknown Canadian author called David Gilmour made these ridiculously sexist remarks about women writers.

“I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women. Except for Virginia Woolf. And when I tried to teach Virginia Woolf, she’s too sophisticated, even for a third-year class. “

We guess it’s Woolf’s argument that women should be valued as much as men for their artistic contributions which he assumes is so difficult that most people won’t understand it.

David Gilmour has since issued a sort-of apology although nothing in it suggested he’d be challenging his “speciality” of “male writers”.  So, as we’re sure he just forgot to mention he’ll be paying more attention to women authors in future, here’s a list he may like to take a look at.

Angela Carter
Because we think the forced sex change of the misogynist Evelyn in The Passion of New Eve would hopefully make him feel all weird and teary and uncomfortable and he’d feel all awkward and sick and we’d all laugh and someone else would have read Angela Carter and the world would be a better place.

Amy Tan
It’s not just women David Gilmour has a problem with, it’s the Chinese too, for a reason so obvious he doesn’t even explain it in the interview (clue: racism). Amy Tan might help him overcome both those prejudices. Her books are fab, and explore the Chinese-American experience beautifully and brilliantly. Also she’s in a band with other writers, which makes her doubly cool.

Kathy Acker
A fuck loving, taboo-breaking, shaven headed punk poet is just the sort of thing Gilmour needs to firstly make his balls shrivel up and then secondly to make him rethink every horrible, flaccid little prejudice he has about the “delicate” sex.

Wang Anyi
Prevented from finishing her education and forced into labour on a farming commune, it’s a wonder that Anyi wrote at all, let alone produce the modern classic The Everlasting Regret and a load of other novels and short stories. She’s been nominated for the International Booker and her work deals unremittingly with messy, modern urban life. Perhaps reading her will make David Gilmour finally get it: you can oppress and ignore women writers all you want, but it doesn’t make us shut up.