A Question of Genre - What is Literary Fiction?
Recently I read an article where a literary editor posed the question “is literary fiction dead?” In the article the author argued that contemporary “genre specific fiction” was dominating the market, with literary fiction becoming increasingly niche. So much so that the relevance of literary fiction in a wider context needed to be re-evaluated. This interested me, from the perspective of both a book enthusiast and a writer who has previously struggled with grasping the meaning of genre as it relates to my work. Reading between the lines I concluded that the editor was in essence, suggesting that literary, or in other words well written fiction, was on its way out. I found the notion that literary fiction as a genre might be suffering quite perplexing, as for many years I’d felt compelled to place the novel that I was working on in the literary fiction category. Yet, at the time I could not articulate exactly why I felt that my novel should be considered “literary.” I have come to suspect that it had much to do with the prestige that this particular genre inferred. Thus, I was somewhat bemused when a portion of my book was read by a published author who whilst praising my writing style casually commented that he saw the novel commercial, albeit with a “literary edge”. This threw me a little, and whilst I eventually came to embrace the idea of my novel being deemed commercial I initially couldn’t help but wonder whether my book was more basic and less deep than I had hoped....
Read the full article by visiting my blog website: http://mshakepeare.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/a-question-of-genre-what-is-literary.html Or http://ready2write.co.uk/2016/11/17/a-question-of-genre-what-is-literary-fiction/
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