But is it Literature?


Boing Boing, one of my favorite sites to visit, had a link to this Wall St. Journal Article, Good Books Don’t Have to Be Hard, an amusing article. Lev Grossman, the article’s author, is the book critic at Time, and urges literary types to discover that, gee, folks like to have a plot in a story. Now he sites the decline of adult trade fic (down 2.3% last year), and the upswing in YA novels (hardcover up 30.7% this year). And he writes, “The novel is getting entertaining again.”

I’m not sure what he’s been reading, since I’ve had a steady supply of excellent novels all my live. I will agree that some of the best stories around are to be found in YA — I’ve found myself reading a lot of YA. But I’m not sure about this, “…revolution from below, up from the supermarket racks.”

What’s wrong with a supermarket rack? What…literature is not only supposed to be hard to read, but hard to get? Didn’t Amazon kill that idea?

And in a bit of reverse snobbery, maybe it’s time for readers of genre fiction to start looking down on those who read “literature” and slip them a nice paperpack that’ll keep them up all night.

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