Emily St. John Mandel [pictured here], a former girl, who writes books, analyzed data about the many of the characters who are specifically identified as a “girl” in the title of a book. Mandel wrote up her findings for the FiveThirtyEight web site:
Who are these girls? Why are there so many of them? Books with “girl” in the titles make up a tiny fraction of all the books published in a given year, but they appear again and again on the bestseller lists. Other people have written about this trend, often with great eloquence, but none of them were backed by a data set. Using the database at Goodreads, the popular social networking website for readers, we set out to change that. A number of patterns emerged in our analysis: The “girl” in the title is much more likely to be a woman than an actual girl, and the author of the book is more likely to be a woman. But if a book with “girl” in the title was written by a man, the girl is significantly more likely to end up dead….
(Thanks to John Tyska for bringing this to our attention.)