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Female writers 'better suited to short stories'

11th December 2009

The recent spate of female authors winning short story awards shows that women tend to excel at the form, it has been argued.

Sarah Crown, editor of Guardian.co.uk's books section, pointed out that Kate Clanchy won the recent BBC National Short Story Award, while Petina Gappah won the First Book Award for her An Elegy for Easterly collection.

'Might it be that the form itself is particularly suited to "female" subjects; to women's perceived preoccupation with the domestic, with relationships' subtle ebbs and flows?' she wrote.

The commentator also suggested that short stories are easier to write in the quiet periods between work and looking after a family - a view which is backed by Alice Munro, who won this year's Man Booker International prize.

Crown also recommended Munro, Katherine Mansfield, Grace Paley, Helen Simpson, Mavis Gallant and Lorrie Moore as good authors for readers to start with when looking for short stories written by women.

Earlier this year, Moore told the Metro that she prefers to write in the short form because it allows fleeting emotions or observations to be captured with greater immediacy.

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