I agree with… David Whitehouse

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]

David Whitehouse

[photo: booktrust.org.uk]

Genre has developed from an easy way for publishers and booksellers to categorise a book for retail display and sales management, to a bit of a strait jacket. I’m sure I miss out on some really great books by not perusing the Horror or Science Fiction shelves. And I have never heard a customer saying in a bookshop ‘I’m looking for a great literary novel’.

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.

To read the full article in The Bookseller, click here.
Click here for my review of Mobile Library.

David Whitehouse


If you agree with David Whitehouse, perhaps you will agree with:-
Jeanette Wintersonwriting never stops
Benjamin Woodyou 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 Tremainin 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