Samantha Ling (lingtm) wrote,
Samantha Ling

Literary vs. Genre

There's an interesting article over at LitPark asking a couple of thriller authors what they think is genre and what they think is literary. It's an interesting article.

I admitted a long time ago that I don't like literary fiction. The fact is that many of us don't. We like a good yarn, a story that has stuff happening. I don't want to read fifteen pages on someone trying to get up a flight of stairs, one step at a time. I don't want to read about his shoes, the gum on the third stair, the smell of the air for fifteen pages and when he gets to the top of the stairs, there was no point in those fiften pages. I don't get anything from it other than my time wasted. If it takes fifteen pages for the protagonist to walk up a flight of stairs, this person better be paralyzed by something so he/she can't go up these stairs. Like this person only has wheels for legs and not two feet. It better be because they had to struggle up the stairs.

I came to grips with this several years ago when I tried to read an award winning novel. I was either not smart enough or sophisticated enough to understand it. I accepted it. I just don't like the literary stuff.

My mom used to take us to the library every week so that we could get books to read. I liked the books I read. I liked Judy Blume and all those choose-your-own adventures. And as an adult, I like chick-lit novels and spy novels. I like mysteries where I have to solve a crime. I like stories about dragons and magic. And maybe that's considered low-brow and escapism. But at least I'm reading a book a month. I'd rather have people reading fun stuff than not reading stuff you should be reading. But I suspect I'm preaching to the choir here.

I'm currently reading "Poison Pen" by Sheila Lowe. It's about a handwriting expert who's solving a murder of a friend. What are you reading?

Tags: writing

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