Stop Reading New Fiction?


It has a provocative headline (“Literary fiction is boring!”), but J. Robert Lennon’s Salon piece about what writers should read is not nearly as simplistic or sensationalist as you might expect.

Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, he does make some good points. For example:

But a fiction writer ought to engage with other parts of the culture, too. This includes reading outside one’s genre — I happen to favor sci-fi and mystery, but I think it’s fine for literary writers to read YA, romance, fantasy, or whatever they please. Literary writers are in the privileged position of being permitted to raid any genre for tools to subvert and repurpose.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →