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
Posts Tagged: genre
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.
Megan Abbott convenes a virtual roundtable with writers Kelly Braffet and Lisa Lutz to tackle whether we’re in a post-genre literary world, and discuss, among other things, bank heists, bitch-slapping, and French rats....more
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