Posts Tagged: literary fiction
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....more
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.
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).
The debate has typically been framed around whether it is ever appropriate for a writer to reference Seinfeld, Bright Eyes, or Facebook. What makes more sense is to talk about whether or not doing so is helpful for the specific project at hand.
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.
For the past century American writers and artists have been obsessed with that shimmering, sexy, liberating, lethal contraption known as the automobile…Is there a more potent metaphor for American restlessness, for the American hunger for status and sex, for the American tendency to wind up, broken and bloody, in a ditch?
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....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.
Science fiction has a hefty brilliance to contribute to the literary world, but people often scoff at it as light, genre fiction. The Atlantic explores why science fiction is just as, if not more, relevant than non-genre fiction.
Science fiction, I’ve always felt, is part of that fantastical tradition.