When Ottessa Moshfegh wrote the thriller Eileen, a novel recently shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, she did it to get rich, reports Paul Laity for the Guardian: She didn’t want to “keep her head down” and “wait 30 years to be discovered … so I thought I’m going to do something bold. Because there are all […]
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. (Let’s face it, Woolf couldn’t plot for toffee.) […]
James Patterson’s new imprint promises to solve our modern conflict between reading and time. But the problem it diagnoses may be more for writers than for readers: Does Patterson want to produce garbage books for what he presumes are garbage minds? Of course not.
At the Guardian, Alison Flood wonders whether or not genre writing, particularly romance writing, is primarily “rubbish.” In her investigation, she points out how assumptions are often made about the “surface” elements of genre works and cites literary novels that have used the conventions of genre while maintaining their literariness.
Some authors feel insecure about writing genre fiction and consider literature a luxury brand. Genre fiction, after all, is supposed to be the goose that lays golden eggs and includes books people actually want to read—except that may not be true. Electric Literature takes the time to breakdown sales volume of literature and popular genres […]
Like a detective novel, these books are characterized by a central mystery and the process of detection that leads to solving that mystery. The mystery, however, is not a crime—it’s a life. A person, usually only tangentially related to the subject (the latter is often deceased), becomes engrossed in the discovery of this person’s life, […]
At Esquire, sci-fi author Jeff VanderMeer and Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid discuss genre fiction, and how one art form can inspire another. Reid says: 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. […]
Serial novels are nothing new, especially in genre fiction designed to keep readers shelling out money for the next phase of a story. But the sudden, rapid success of fantasy genre series like George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones and the adaptation of Tolkien’s hobbit epics to the big screen has meant publishers want to cash […]
Over at Jezebel, Kelly Faircloth shares a fantastic long form piece on the rise of the Harlequin romance novel, and how the brand became synonymous with a wildly lucrative if critically dismissed genre. From the original formula for woman-centered, alpha-male page turners to Harlequin’s relentless advertising tactics to the question of exactly how much sex […]
Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel The Buried Giant has reignited debates about genre fiction following Ishiguro’s implication that the work isn’t fantasy. The author has since clarified which side he’s really on. Meanwhile, Flavorwire‘s Jonathon Sturgeon defends Ishiguro’s right to call the book whatever he wants: To use some of Le Guin’s own logic: we still […]
Kazuo Ishiguro insists his new novel, The Buried Giant, is not a fantasy novel. Laura Miller at Salon agrees. Ursula K. Le Guin does not (and is a little insulted). David Barnett at The Guardian doesn’t care either way and instead sees Ishiguro’s novel as an opportunity: Why not throw open the gates, tear down […]
At Flavorwire, Jonathan Sturgeon continues the “literary” and “genre” war, offering a new perspective grounded in the marketplace: So what’s really going on here? Well, it isn’t the genre of prose that has literary novelists anxious. It’s the market status of genre novels. Now that literary criticism has evaporated as a genre of writing, the […]