Sunday, June 17, 2012

On Literary Authors Switching to Genre

I posted about genre authors switching genres the other day, and now I would like to follow up with a link about how some literary authors seem to be switching to genre fiction.

I find this more than interesting. And if this is a trend what does it say about where literary fiction stands today?

It's a very insightful article, and one that makes me wonder how many more changes we can expect. I would guess that the same people who weren't taking e-publishing and e-books very seriously two or three years ago are now beginning to see things differently. I also have a feeling their agents might be quietly urging them on.

You can read the article in full right here.

4 comments:

WritingInBako said...

The article was an interesting--but odd--read for me because having a degree in English as I do, "literary fiction" simply is not a genre but instead a heading. Dropping the redundant word "literary" for a second because we know it's literary, "fiction" is a collective term for a myriad genres under it. Works literary works are either fiction or non-fiction. The article seems to say that there is something called "literary fiction" and, entirely separate from that, there is something called "genre." I guess I am confused by the distinction, for one, and, for two, that somehow "writing genre" is bad. Consider me bamboozled.
Matt Darringer

ryan field said...

I agree completely. From what I've always heard it's more of a distinction so books can be placed in categories so readers know where to look for them.

But there are many gray areas and so far I've yet to see a set definition of "literary." I've seen discussions on blog posts over the years that went on for days about what's considered "literary" and what's not.

In this case, I'm thinking she meant literary in the sense of mainstream...like Franzen or Irving (although both are bad examples because I doubt either one would write in genre fiction).

WritingInBako said...

I guess what I'm saying is that there is no such thing as "literary fiction" or "genre fiction" for that matter. There is first a separation of literature (let's say published books just for context) into fiction or non-fiction. Under fiction there are genres (mystery, romance, suspense, gay, etc.). Under non-fiction, among the genres are biography, autobiography, etc. In the strictest sense, if it's published it's literary. The following link is a pretty good list as to genres: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_literary_genres
Matthew Darringer

ryan field said...

A lot of writers agree with this. But "they" love to box writers into categories.