It was a regular, quiet Monday night of muted jazz and pool games in most of the bars down North 11th Street. The red brick warehouse of the Brooklyn Brewery, however, reverberated with the chatter of a 300-plus crowd, gathered in support of the first annual VIDA fundraiser, sponsored by Riverhead Books.
VIDA, a nonprofit organization that supports women in literary arts, was formed almost three years ago to tally up the inequalities between men and women authors and poets. The resulting statistics, called “The Count,” shook the publishing world by revealing the low percentage of female-authored published work–The New Republic, for instance, only published 78 women overall in 2010, compared to a whopping 344 men.
It’s not surprising, then, that most of the guests at the fundraiser were young women. “It’s like a Mt. Holyoke mixer with Emerson boys,” Sande Boritz Berger, whose writing career spans the last four decades, remarked.