A friend of mine recommended I read the Xanth books, which surprised me because I respect her as a friend, as a reader, and as a feminist, but I’ve heard a lot about the Xanth series (and Anthony in general) being incredibly sexist. When I relayed this to my friend, she was more than a little surprised. According to her, Xanth itself is a sexist world, but Anthony uses this to create biting satire of sexist culture.
Judging by the examples from the criticisms I read, I could easily see how either of these could be true. So I’ve decided the only way to figure it out is to read them myself and find out! I’m beginning my journey into Xanth, which I’ll be reading simultaneously with some of favorite feminist literature so I can see what about books makes them female friendly and what makes them not so much.
I realize this is going to be a little like a Mark Reads Project, since I know absolutely nothing about Xanth. I had some friends who read them in high school, and there’s apparently a lot of puns, and something about a math equation? I don’t know, but I’ll find out! Of course, there are… thirty seven? books, and I only have five–the five that my friend has hard copies of. (That’s the problem with ebooks, isn’t it? You can’t loan them out to people.) I’m not even sure which five they are. So I won’t be reading them in order, but I’ll start with those five and pick up the others when I get the chance. So here we go!