My College Classmate Sheryl Sandberg, the VIDA Count, and Lessons on Literary Leaning In

Yesterday on the Virginia Quarterly Review‘s blog, as part of the current issue’s focus on “the business of literature”:

I doubt that Knopf/Random House planned it this way, but the publication of Sheryl Sandberg’s bestselling Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead coincided with the release of the latest VIDA Count. I suspect that Sandberg herself would be interested in the data that VIDA has provided regarding publication rates of women and men in what it calls “many of the writing world’s most respected literary outlets.” (Condensed findings: In most cases, women aren’t faring well in these venues.) Strikingly, some of Sandberg’s messages can be extrapolated beyond the worlds of leadership or corporate culture and applied to the world of poets, fiction writers, and essayists, perhaps especially as VIDA has described it.

You can read the rest of my essay over on VQRonline.