"Gender Bias in Mystery and Romance Novel Publishing": examines gender bias from the perspective of readers, writers and publishers, with a focus on the top two best-selling genres in modern fiction. It is a linguistic, literary stylistic, and structurally formalist analysis of the male and female "sentences" in the genres that have the greatest gender divide: romances and mysteries. The analysis will search for the historical roots that solidified what many think of today as a "natural" division. Virginia Woolf called it the fabricated "feminine sentence," and other linguists have also identified clear sex-preferential differences in Anglo-American, Swedish and French novels. Do female mystery writers adopt a masculine voice when they write mysteries? Are female-penned mysteries structurally or linguistically different from their male competitors', and vice versa among male romance writers? The first part can be used as a textbook for gender stylistics, as it provides an in-depth review of prior research. The second part is an analysis of the results of a survey on readers' perception of gender in passages from literature. The last part is a linguistic and structural analysis of actual statistical differences between the novels in the two genres, considering the impact of the author's gender.
"A must-read for a mystery author like me, but also for every man and woman interested in the way we interact because art mimics reality... Or is it just the opposite... :) :) " -Bob Van Laerhoven, winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize
"The data offered allows for concrete conclusions on questions gender linguists have been asking for several decades, such as the use of male active heroes and villains, but the diminishing of female characters to serve as passive victims or love interests in both popular romance and mystery genres." -David R. Slavitt, author of more than 100 critically acclaimed books