Posts Tagged: literary fiction

The Rumpus interview with Jeremy P. Bushnell

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Jeremy P. Bushnell discusses his new novel, The Insides, themes of consent, and designing a post-apocalyptic board game. ...more

Reading Emotions

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There’s nothing that the book world likes to debate more than the differences between literary fiction and commercial or genre fiction.  

According to a new study published in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, readers of literary fiction are better able to understand emotions as compared with readers of popular genre fiction, Electric Literature reports.

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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.

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The Rumpus Interview with Brendan Jones

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Brendan Jones talks about his debut novel, The Alaskan Laundry, living in Alaska, his time as a Wallace Stegner Fellow, and living and loving what you write. ...more

To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish

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At the Guardian, Ros Barber explains why she believes self-publishing is not a valid alternative to traditional routes:

Traditional publishing is the only way to go for someone who writes literary fiction. With genre fiction, self-publishing can turn you into a successful author (if you can build a platform, if you enjoy marketing and are good at it, if you are lucky).

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A Brief History of Pandering

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Erasing women writers like Woolson carries immense implications. It creates an environment ripe for the continued marginalization and silencing of women’s voices today. ...more

Latest Salvo in Genre War

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David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks, has been nominated for both “literary” and “genre” awards, putting him in a somewhat unique position to comment on the ever-raging literary vs. genre war:

“It’s convenient to have a science fiction and fantasy section, it’s convenient to have a mainstream literary fiction section, but these should only be guides, they shouldn’t be demarcated territories where one type of reader belongs and another type of reader does not,” said [author David] Mitchell.

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The Rumpus Interview with Jeremy Hawkins

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Author Jeremy Hawkins discusses his debut novel, The Last Days of Video, the resurgence of the independent bookstore industry, and allowing nostalgia to have presence but not precedence in one’s life. ...more

By Its Cover

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Jennifer Weiner’s recent claim that a serious author photos indicate serious literature is submited to scientifically unsound empirical testing over at Slate. Comparing the head shots of “Women’s Lit” writers to those of “Literary Fiction” best-sellers, Eliza Berman discovers an unexpected trend in the process: the mysterious middle ground of the indecipherable author smirk.

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Lit Fic Is Just Another Genre

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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.

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