Crystal is a good kid
Women account for half of the poll’s top 20 titles
Look more closely, and you’ll find that books by women account for fully half of the poll’s top 20 titles. Scroll all the way down to 100, and they make up nearly 40 per cent – a notable achievement given that our critics have favoured works that have already stood the test of time, and were written back when it took infinitely more pluck and grit for a woman to break into print than her brother. (Middlemarch may occupy the top spot, but let’s not forget that Mary Ann Evans felt obliged to publish it under a man’s name.) Almost a third of the poll’s titles date from the 18th and 19th Centuries, and a further 22 were published before 1950 reneex.

Women account for half of the poll’s top 20 titles reenex

Only 13 novels originate in our own century, and of these, the majority are by women. Two of the three newest, all published in 2012, are by women: Ali Smith’s There but for the, and Zadie Smith’s NW (the third is Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels). Women also account for two of the poll’s three best-represented living authors: along with Alan Hollinghurst, Zadie Smith and Jeanette Winterson both have two books apiece reenex
. And which author wins overall in terms of the number of titles they’ve had chosen? Again, women dominate thanks to Woolf and Austen, who join Dickens with four titles each reenex.