David Stevens

Posts Tagged ‘literary fiction’

Read it for sex, and not the other thing

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2017 at 12:16 am

There’s sex and too much religion. This one is hard to judge as it’s hard to “get”.

Thank you ABC Australia for your ever so incisive assessment of Emily Fridlund’s “History of Wolves”*. There’s “sex”, is there? That’s unusual. Some “sex” in a modern novel, hmmm. But not too much, apparently. Nor not enough. Just “sex”. Unlike “religion”. What are some of those things we might look for in literary fiction? Taking us out of our comfort zone? Showing us lives that are not ours, and different world views too? Some challenge? Perhaps not.

Haven’t read the book, so I suppose I should not comment. I might read it now, though. Just for “sex”, mind you – the exact right amount.

*Full disclosure – I lie. I am terribly unfair. I admit it. The piece is an assessment of chances of winning the Booker, it is not a book review. And it concludes its comments on this novel with “it has all the edges that suggest it’s worth tussling with”. So my remarks regarding “comfort zone” and “challenge” are dishonest. Very. Despite the fact that I had a good breakfast. Bad dog, David. Does it make it all ok if I confess down here in the fine print? Does it matter that the fine print is longer than the not so fine print? Perhaps I should just say nothing. Still though – language and all that. (How’s that for a sentence?) It struck a nerve of incongruity with me, especially compared to the assessments of the other shortlisted books, and the concluding sentence has a taste of “I might be wrong, and what if it wins?”. 

 

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Insert Smiley Face Here

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2015 at 10:17 pm

Write what you know is the most common writing tip you’ll find anywhere. It’s nonsense, really, because if we all did that we’d end up with terribly boring novels about writers staring out of windows waiting for inspiration to hit. (If you like those, incidentally, head straight for the literary fiction section of your nearest bookshop.)

James Smythe in The Guardian