We can toss around “sci-fi,” “fantasy,” “magical realism,” “surrealism,” and a dozen other genres in our struggle to categorize literature, but the term “weird fiction” is an interesting category that attempts to encapsulate a unifying element. Over at Lit Hub, Tobias Caroll makes the case for “weird fiction” and covers several examples of its wide breadth....more
Posts Tagged: genre
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.
Kazuo Ishiguro is interviewed at the Los Angeles Review of Books; among other things, the writer touches on world-building, jumping genres, and why, sometimes, it takes a little while to get where you’re going:
Well, it took me four years or five years before I came up with my second novel, and that wasn’t a strategy, that was just how long it took.
This summer’s debate over young adult literature has raised questions ranging from whether adults should read YA to what even counts as thee genre in the first place. The New Yorker’s television critic Emily Nussbaum extends these questions to the world of television, where adolescent dramas have had a different impact on the development and survival of the medium:
This debate has focused on books.
On August 18, hip-hop and comic book nerds alike convened to celebrate the release of Volume 2 of Ed Piskor’s The Hip-Hop Family Tree, a history of the genre in graphic novel-form. In the Daily Beast, Daniel Genis explains how the competing personae and one-upsmanship among rappers translate so easily to a medium that often depicts superhero fights....more
The line between fiction and non-fiction has always been blurry, but an author’s choice of genre—be it novel, memoir, or even autobiography—results in different relationships between the reader and narrator. Writing in HTMLGIANT, Art Edwards takes a closer look at these relationships and the effects that genre choice has on the narrative....more
Jane Austen wrote for money. She also made readers laugh. So why are her books considered literature rather than genre fiction? Clever marketing, claims Elizabeth Edmondson over at the Guardian. Despite many attempts to define “literary fiction” as something dry and bland, writers have historically written to entertain (and to sell their words)—the importance of categorization comes much later:
Of course, the fact that lit crit types make some absurd claims for lit fic doesn’t mean writers within this category don’t write good books.
She’s some young upstart named Margaret Atwood with some crazy ideas about horror, terror, genre fiction, and literary fiction.
To add to that, the complete Edgar Allan Poe was in the primary school library – those were the days in which only the presence or absence of Sex determined what was suitable for children – so I was no stranger to tell-tale hearts, teeth ripped out of semi-corpses, dead women coming back to life through other dead women, and so forth.
Some years ago I attended a [Margaret Atwood] reading….She introduced the story she read by saying that it was not autobiographical. Then she read her story about a woman who weighed somewhere in the vicinity of 300 pounds. When she was done, and the Q&A started, the first question was: “Miss Atwood, how did you lose all that weight?”
The Los Angeles Review of Books has a fascinating interview with several writers, including our very own David Biespiel, about the wriggly nature of truth in writing of any genre, whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, poetry, memoir—anything....more
Is the wiring of our brains related to how we write as individuals? Joyce Dyer thinks so.
One student in the summer group said she could retain nothing of the substance of her dreams, but only their sensations. What a dream smelled like or tasted like was all that was left to her… [She was], not surprisingly, a poet.
Revision, as classically understood, generally relates to the poet’s understanding while composing a poem, via kneading language, via discovering insight. More and more though I find that sort of revision is only part of the problem, if it is a problem....more
“How certain are you, anyhow, that what you call ‘unpleasantness’ is not a necessary, even crucial, part of our experience?
Maybe you should lock yourself up in your heart long enough to work out your actual relationship to matters like shame, loss, envy, panic, brutality, greed, insecurity, loneliness, failure, whatever you find particularly unpleasant....more
“But the idea that genre is a tool, not a prophecy goes beyond combating genre snobbery, I think — it’s actually helpful for writers to think about when crafting their next novel.
Just because there’s this marvelous tool for helping readers to understand your story, doesn’t mean your story has to be crafted around the tool.”
At io9, they’re talking about the advantages of using genre as a tool, especially in regards to sci-fi....more