Women and Adversity:
Nina George, Part I
I am privileged to have Nina George, an international bestselling author from Germany, respond to my request for her to participate in my blog. I assumed she’d answer in English, and she accommodated me on that issue. She is president of the European Writers’ Council, a volunteer position, and travels throughout Europe to promote and defend the rights of writers.
George was born in Bielefeld, Germany in 1973, dropped out of high school and worked at catering businesses then in 1992 began freelance writing. In addition to having columns and short stories published, she has 28 books to her credit. The Little Paris Bookshop is translated into 37 languages. She lives in Berlin, Germany and in Brittany, France.
JAM: What was the biggest obstacle you faced when you decided to be a writer?
NG: There had been no role models for young female adults in the late ′80s and early ′90s in Germany. We are facing a book market, which was – and it is still – dominated by white men, writing about white men, and reviewed by white men. Sometimes in their best age, sometimes not, so the obstacle was to find out on my own how to write, where to start.
I was nineteen when I started to write a book. The license was bought by a publishing house when I was 22 and published when I was 24 – under one of my pen names: Anne West. It was the first sort of nonfiction book combined with an I-narrator, talking from a female perspective about love, sexuality, stereotypes in media and arts.
I had to face concerns from my former editor-in-chief while I was working as a journalist; he wanted to fire me after I revealed the topic of my first book, so I chose a closed pen name (it is open now).
For a decade I wrote books from a female perspective on love, sexuality, Eros and partnership. Sometimes even today there are a lot of unconscious, as well as conscious, biases against this topic and its author.
So today I try to be a sort of role model for young female novelists and try to encourage them. With my initiative #countingwomen, www.counting-women.com I also try to point out the lack of visibility of female writers. In Germany we see now first tiny steps of a change…