Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Literary Fiction is Not Boring, is it?

No. It is not.

Naturally, my answer cannot be anything but.  I read a variety of genres, from suspense to young adult, but literary fiction is the genre I gravitate to most when reading (and writing).

But it is not everyone's favorite.

Literary novels are often perceived as boring and lacking urgency or creativity, as being slow paced and devoid of action.

For me, literary fiction is like good wine - each word should be savored and enjoyed, slowly and deliberately. Let the words come alive and paint a vivid picture, sing to your soul. But it's the middle of July, and heat radiates from every leaf and blade of grass along the lake road, from the tar-papered sides of the lake cottages, from the dust that hands in the air like sheer curtains - Julie Orringer, The Smoothest Way is Full of Stones.


Perhaps it comes down to wrong expectations - they are not page-turners that can be (or should be) browsed through or read in one night -  that defeats their purpose.

Do you enjoy literary fiction?  Why or why not? What is your favorite literary fiction title?

12 comments:

  1. I enjoy literary fiction over most genres.

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    1. Thank you Richard for stopping by. Silly question, but do you have a favorite novel?

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  2. I don't think I've read much literary fiction. I guess I'm more into the plot driven genre fiction.

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    1. Hi Donna - thank you for commenting. Of the plot driven genres, which one do you like the most?

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  3. I love literary fiction. It's not the genre I read the most but there are some wonderful books from it.

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    1. Hi - thanks! Which literary fiction novels do you like most? I am always looking for recommendations - I tend to gravitate a lot towards classics too and need to keep up with current LF all the time...

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  4. I'm one of those people who don't gravitate toward literary fiction. I (regretfully admit) am one of those people who usually think the stories are boring. I often start to drift into A.D.D. world when I read a literary fiction novel. It's not because I think the writing is terrible (trust me - I wish I could paint pictures like you all do!), but because my attention span is different. I like books that are action packed from beginning to end - sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mysteries. I think that's the case for a lot of us that shy away from literary works. Maybe it's because the lot of us are plot-driven writers, so we struggle getting through the descriptions? I don't know. But kudos to those of you who love to write - and read - literary fiction. I wish I had your attention span!

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    1. Hi Vicki - thanks! I absolutely understand how plot driven genres are, in the strict sense of the word, more exciting - getting one's heart pumping with anticipation. I did read Dan Brown, Steve Berry etc. etc. too for that reason. I guess LF speaks more to my heart and that is why I stick with it.
      :-)

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  5. I must admit I am not a great fan but once in a while I pick one up - perhaps not realising it what it is - and totally enjoy it. Besides, occasionally it makes a change from reading fast -paced thrillers...

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    1. That's a great approach and it does help switching it up a bit.
      Thanks Pat!

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  6. I do like literary fiction! Actually I have always assumed its a more respected area of fiction than genre fiction!

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  7. I love a book where I feel like I can savor every word! That doesn't mean that I love all literary fiction, but I definitely appreciate when someone has such a command of the language that they awe me.

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