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Libby Sternberg | Do Women Read Books Written From a Male Point of View?
Author Guest / October 11, 2010

Will women’s fiction readers embrace a novel told from the male point of view? Can a woman even write in a man’s point of view effectively? The answer to both questions—absolutely! Two prominent examples from the recent past provide evidence. Sara Gruen’s bestseller Water for Elephants was written in the first person, male point of view, the story told from the perspective of a young man. It attracted scores of readers, many of them women. And Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead was written in first person from an elderly man’s perspective as he looked back on his life. Both books, to put it mildly, did very well, proving that a good story well told is the most important criteria for publishing success. Obviously, I’d be thrilled if my book, Sloane Hall, did even a fraction as well as those two successes. Sloane Hall might be inspired by Jane Eyre, but it’s told from the male protagonist’s point of view in the first person. The voice the reader hears throughout the book is that of John Doyle, a young Texas reform school “graduate” who finds work as a chauffeur for a Hollywood starlet about to make her first talking picture in…