David Whitehouse is not a fan of genre distinctions beyond those that help people find books they will enjoy: “It becomes more than genre, [it] becomes a type of person and it excludes people. That’s not the point. Telling a man on the street that a book is ‘literary’ or ‘commercial’ isn’t helping them find what they want—he would say: ‘Well actually I want something that’s sold a lot of copies.’
[in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, October 28, 2014]
It’s the same when searching on Amazon. A quick search for Jessie Burton’s excellent debut The Miniaturist reveals the issues, it appears in three categories: historical, literary fiction and contemporary fiction. I don’t understand the last category as the novel is set in 1686.
Perhaps the tale is wagging the dog now.
If you agree with David Whitehouse, perhaps you will agree with:-
Jeanette Winterson – writing never stops
Benjamin Wood – you cannot teach someone to have talent but what you can do, is take the amount of talent each person has & teach them to get the most out of it
Rose Tremain – in a sense, writers live their lives twice over
‘Mobile Library’ by David Whitehouse [UK: Picador]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Genre excludes people, says #author @d_whitehouse #writing via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1zX