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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Future of Fiction

Somehow I missed the Wall Street Journal article by Lev Grossman, book critic at Time Magazine, until it was posted this week on a discussion list email. But it's worth reading if you can.

Bring back the elusive plot! Readers are turning to Young Adult books because literary fiction has failed them. Lots of points worth pondering, including this (and not just because he cites my new fav writer Kate Atkinson, among others. And The Hunger Games. All good...):

Why do so many adults read Suzanne Collins's young-adult novel "The Hunger Games" instead of contemporary literary fiction? Because "The Hunger Games" doesn't bore them. All of this is changing. The revolution is under way. The novel is getting entertaining again. Writers like Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, Donna Tartt, Kelly Link, Audrey Niffenegger, Richard Price, Kate Atkinson, Neil Gaiman, and Susanna Clarke, to name just a few, are busily grafting the sophisticated, intensely aware literary language of Modernism onto the sturdy narrative roots of genre fiction: fantasy, science fiction, detective fiction, romance.

Also take a quick look at some of the many comments. Interesting discussion, no?

Hmmm. Wait! Donna Tartt? The Secret History? Better check to see if she's got a new book coming out.

Related post: Plot

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