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May 31, 2007



While some of these initiatives have the heart in the right place, it surprises me that no one dares criticize the way they take political correctness to absurd extremes. Even if the case was that female crime writers are publishing as many books as their male counterparts, this wouldn't make any sense.

By that same token, why don't we start demanding that out of those review columns, 14 percent of the reviews be devoted to Hispanic authors and 12 percent to African American authors (their respective percentages of the country's population)? I think that good female authors can stand on their own merits and by wanting every review to look like a United Colors of Benneton poster you're only hurting the chances of talented yet lesser-known writers (male or female) to gain more exposure.


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David J. Montgomery is a writer and critic specializing in books and publishing. He is an emeritus columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Beast, and has also written for USA Today, the Washington Post, and other fine publications. A former professor of History, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two daughters.

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