“I’m not interested in teaching books by women.”

Author David Gilmour is turning quite a few heads with a few statements from an interview:

I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women. Except for Virginia Woolf. And when I tried to teach Virginia Woolf, she’s too sophisticated, even for a third-year class. Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall.

It’s one thing, as a man, to perhaps identify more with other male writers—as anyone might with any author who is like them in some major way—but to dismiss women writers out-of-hand as he does is risible. If one is teaching literature (it seems to me) one has a duty to other things beyond just books that are “interesting”: to giving students a better sense of the entirety of literature, especially literature from different perspectives. To miss out on all books written by women is to do students a serious disservice.