genre fiction Archive
The point is to understand that what constitutes “literary” versus “genre” fiction—an age-old topic of study and debate within literary circles—is fundamental, not ancillary, to scientific findings on the effects of reading novels.
In a space like this, when we talk about genre fiction, we are often talking about its limitations: its conventions, its shallowness, its easy accessibility, its (overly) familiar repetitions, its elastic distance behind the invisible but razor-wired line of the literary.
I’m a little disappointed in Jennifer Weiner. And not in the way you’d think. Certainly not in the same way as Jonathan Franzen. Rather, I’m disappointed that she’s seemingly buying into the genre vs. literary distinction while she (admirably and very hilariously) defends herself on Twitter against Franzen’s latest attacks.
A few months ago, I met a self-publishing millionaire. In just eighteen months, she had gone from an underpaid office worker with a laid-off husband to a beloved romantic erotica writer pulling in $50,000 a month. She was willing to entertain offers from a big publisher, though none were