Novelist Nicola Griffith (Slow River, Ammonite, The Blue Place) analyzed the last 15 years’ results from a bunch of the heavy hitting award programs: Pulitzer Prize, Man Booker Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics’ Circle Award, Hugo Award and Newbery Medal. With data in hand, she reached some startling conclusions:
… when it comes to literary prizes, the more prestigious, influential and financially remunerative the award, the less likely the winner is to write about grown women. Either this means that women writers are self-censoring, or those who judge literary worthiness find women frightening, distasteful, or boring. Certainly the results argue for women’s perspectives being considered uninteresting or unworthy. Women seem to have literary cooties.
See the full results of Griffith’s research as well as her interesting and in-depth conclusions here, on her blog.