genre fiction

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Cyberpunk: Everything You Did (and Maybe Didn’t) Want to Know I don’t know about you, but I have trouble keeping up with the terminology used to describe some of the new kinds of literature. Here Caitlin Hobbs explains that the term cyberpunk, which has its roots in science fiction, “didn’t gain traction as a recognized …

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What’s Behind the Label ‘Domestic Fiction’? Soledad Fox Maura, professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Williams College and soon-to-debut novelist, wonders why World Cat “(the biggest library search engine on the planet)” has classified her upcoming novel, Madrid Again, as domestic fiction: Why would my novel, about an itinerant bilingual mother and daughter who …

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Mixing Genres Is All About Messing with Structure “Knowing what people are expecting allows you to subvert the trope. Expectation is its own red herring, built right into your reader.” Stuart Turton, author of the brilliant The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and newly released The Devil and The Dark Water, admits, “I’m obsessed by …

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The Case for Teaching Depressing Books High school English teacher Sahar Mustafah writes that her students often ask when they’re going to read happy books. Young people, quite naturally, equate “happy” with a safe, uneventful existence. Genocide, sexual assault, poverty, racism, climate change—it’s hard to find any reason to be excited about reading these subjects …

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The Edgar Awards Revisited: The Suspect by L. R. Wright (Best Novel; 1986) The Edgar Awards Revisited, a series in Criminal Element, looks back at award winners not only in their own right, as outstanding novels, but as representative of the their time. In fact, looking back on 1986, The Suspect may have been the …

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Review: “The Blinds”

Background: Genre Fiction Genre is a term applied to different kinds of literature that can be defined by their subject matter, form, or technique. According to A Handbook to Literature, 7th ed., by William Harmon & C. Hugh Holman (Prentice Hall, 1996): Genre classification implies that there are groups of formal or technical characteristics among …

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woman reading

On Reading

If you enjoyed a good book and you’re a woman, the critics think you’re wrong Jennifer Weiner never passes up an opportunity to lament how the world of literary criticism mistreats authors (like her) and readers of popular literature. “Every once in a while,” she explains, “a literary novel becomes tremendously popular, transcending the typical …

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