Yesterday Fay Weldon told the Guardian: "I can see I wished in vain. The polarities are even greater now. Women buy women's books: men buy literary books, written by men or honorary males."
Okay, so it's time for the winner of the Orange Prize to be announced, but that's no reason to throw out nonsense like that. Yes, there are women who buy only women's books; yes, there are men who buy only men's books, but the fact remains that without the women, well, as Ian McEwan said last month:
Reading groups, readings, breakdowns of book sales all tell the same story: when women stop reading, the novel will be dead.