Posts Tagged: genre fiction

Everybody Is Fine: Talking with Jasmine Guillory

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Jasmine Guillory discusses her debut novel, The Wedding Date, finding success, writing sex, and the revolutionary act of eating.

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The Rumpus Book Club Chat with Michael Helm

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The Rumpus Book Club chats with Michael Helm about his new novel After James, the line between paranoia and caution, and the use of poetry as a plot device.

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All That We Could Do with This Emotion

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Writing for the Guardian, novelist Val McDermid disputes the recent study which suggests that “literary” fiction readers are more empathetic than “genre” readers: There is no doubt that, historically, there was a valid distinction. Nobody would attempt to suggest that there is an equivalence between Agatha Christie and Virginia Woolf. (Let’s face it, Woolf couldn’t plot for toffee.) […]

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Beyond the Surface

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At the Guardian, Alison Flood wonders whether or not genre writing, particularly romance writing, is primarily “rubbish.” In her investigation, she points out how assumptions are often made about the “surface” elements of genre works and cites literary novels that have used the conventions of genre while maintaining their literariness.

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The Rumpus Interview with Victor LaValle

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Victor LaValle discusses his latest book, The Ballad of Black Tom, patience, H.P. Lovecraft, and reinvention.

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The Rumpus Interview with Keith Lee Morris

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Keith Lee Morris discusses his latest book Traveler’s Rest, Lewis and Clark, and how writing a novel about dreams requires much more than sleep.

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Literary Fiction is Popular Fiction

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Some authors feel insecure about writing genre fiction and consider literature a luxury brand. Genre fiction, after all, is supposed to be the goose that lays golden eggs and includes books people actually want to read—except that may not be true. Electric Literature takes the time to breakdown sales volume of literature and popular genres […]

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The Rumpus Interview with Lori Rader-Day

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Lori Rader-Day discusses her second novel, Little Pretty Things, the “five lost years” when she didn’t write at all, and her favorite deep-dish pizza.

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Detecting Genre

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Like a detective novel, these books are characterized by a central mystery and the process of detection that leads to solving that mystery. The mystery, however, is not a crime—it’s a life. A person, usually only tangentially related to the subject (the latter is often deceased), becomes engrossed in the discovery of this person’s life, […]

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Vernon Reid Digs James Baldwin

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At Esquire, sci-fi author Jeff VanderMeer and Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid discuss genre fiction, and how one art form can inspire another. Reid says: Fiction has always evoked pictures and provoked ideas and sounds in my mind. James Baldwin, who was a powerful writer of fiction and non-fiction was a haunted witness of American dysfunction. […]

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How to Harlequin

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Over at Jezebel, Kelly Faircloth shares a fantastic long form piece on the rise of the Harlequin romance novel, and how the brand became synonymous with a wildly lucrative if critically dismissed genre. From the original formula for woman-centered, alpha-male page turners to Harlequin’s relentless advertising tactics to the question of exactly how much sex […]

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Here There (May or May Not) Be Dragons

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Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel The Buried Giant has reignited debates about genre fiction following Ishiguro’s implication that the work isn’t fantasy. The author has since clarified which side he’s really on. Meanwhile, Flavorwire‘s Jonathon Sturgeon defends Ishiguro’s right to call the book whatever he wants: To use some of Le Guin’s own logic: we still […]

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If It Quacks like a Dragon

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Kazuo Ishiguro insists his new novel, The Buried Giant, is not a fantasy novel. Laura Miller at Salon agrees. Ursula K. Le Guin does not (and is a little insulted). David Barnett at The Guardian doesn’t care either way and instead sees Ishiguro’s novel as an opportunity: Why not throw open the gates, tear down […]

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The Battle Rages On

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At Flavorwire, Jonathan Sturgeon continues the “literary” and “genre” war, offering a new perspective grounded in the marketplace: So what’s really going on here? Well, it isn’t the genre of prose that has literary novelists anxious. It’s the market status of genre novels. Now that literary criticism has evaporated as a genre of writing, the […]

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Sci-Fi Tide Sweeps through China

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Science fiction is a growing force on the Chinese literary landscape now that government scrutiny of the genre has loosened up, according to a recent article in the Times. The English publication of Liu Cixin’s The Three Body Problem, following the inclusion of several of the author’s stories in the prestigious People’s Literature journal in […]

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Been Here Before

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After years of anxious separation, people are finally relaxing about the literary/genre fiction divide. Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll asks: now what? We’re now well into a period where literary writers are able to balance their love for horror (or science fiction, or fantasy) with their craft, and fewer and fewer bat an eye…But […]

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Ladies Are Taking Over Crime

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Laura Miller opines that male-authored crime novels are a bit too predictable. Instead…  I’ve found instead that the crime novels I open with the keenest anticipation these days are almost always by women. These are books that trespass the established boundaries of their genre, adding a dash — or more than a dash — of […]

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The Lost Pulp of Gore Vidal

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Before he became an acclaimed novelist and political commentator, Gore Vidal was just a guy trying to make ends meet. Under three different pseudonyms, Vidal wrote a romance novel, three mysteries, and a crime thriller. Now, over 50 years later,  Thieves Fall Out, a pulp novel set during the 1952 Egyptian Revolution, is being re-issued, […]

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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In the Sunday Interview, Anna March talks with Robin Black about her debut novel, Life Drawing. Black—who also received acclaim for her short story collection, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This—begins by discussing her approach to writing character. Stress, difficulties, and tragedies are unavoidable parts of life that play a part in shaping […]

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Delving Head-First into Wonder

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Often times readers dismiss graphic novels as too unrealistic to posses literary merit. That would be a mistake, argues Stefan A. Slater at The Airship, because reality isn’t inherently part of good story telling. Plenty of other fictional forms flaunt the rules of the naturalistic universe while retaining literary value, and graphic novels often contain […]

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Successful Writers You’ve Never Heard Of

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Previously, we blogged about Jennifer Weiner’s battle to shine the spotlight of literary respect on genre fiction written by women. At Harper’s, Jesse Barron looks at Weiner’s campaigning from the angle of old media vs. new media rather than literary fiction vs. commercial fiction or male writers vs. female writers: Good romance writers can earn a living […]

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