Gender and Prestige in Literature: Contemporary Australian Book Culture explores the relationship between gender, power, reputation and book publishing's consecratory institutions in the Australian literary field from 1965-2015. Focusing on book reviews, literary festivals and literary prizes, this work analyses the ways in which these institutions exist in an increasingly cooperative and generative relationship in the contemporary publishing industry, a system designed to limit field transformation. Taking an intersectional approach, this research acknowledges that a number of factors in addition to gender may influence the reception of an author or a title in the literary field and finds that progress towards equality is unstable and non-linear. By combining quantitative data analysis with interviews from authors, editors, critics, publishers and prize judges Alexandra Dane maps the circulation of prestige in Australian publishing, addressing questions around gender, identity, literary reputation, literary worth and the resilience of the status quo that have long plagued the field.
Alexandra Dane is Lecturer in Media and Communications at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research focuses on contemporary book cultures, focussing on the relationship between gender, literary consecration and the influence of formal and informal literary networks.