When Genres Attack
Just a reminder that if you’re in Sydney over the weekend you might want to head over to Shearer’s Bookshop in Leichhardt for When Genres Attack, a pre-Sydney Writers’ Festival event exploring a series of hot-button issues to do with genre, literary status, women’s writing and the state of literary culture generally. It’s an event I’m really excited to be part of, not just because they’re a series of questions dear to my heart, but because I’ll be sharing the stage with the irrepressible Sophie Hamley and two of the smartest writers I know, P.M. Newton (author of one of my favourite books of last year, The Old School) and Kirsten Tranter (whose debut novel, The Legacy, I’m in the middle of as we speak and am enjoying very much). If you’d like a taster of the evening Kirsten’s written a fascinating piece about the way setting up oppositions between genre fiction and “literature” impoverishes our understanding of both for the Shearer’s Bookshop Blog.
The event kicks off at 7:30 tomorrow night. Tickets are $7.00 and are available from Shearer’s Bookshop on (02) 9572 7766. It’d be great to see you there.
A 1996 editorial from Aurialis magazine argues literary fiction has conventions of its own and so is in fact genre fiction.
You might be interested by my comments here (you’ll have to scroll down to find them:
You can talk about brilliant genre novels till you’re blue in the face.
Anything children or the servants read is inferior.
(Sorry, for got Romance. Anything women, children or servants read…)
HA! Love it.
Apropos of Kirsten Tranter’s comments about the Spanish-language readers of The Legacy (a Mystery) – Spanish publishers / readers readers are much less hung up on genre than Anglophone publishers / readers.
Think of the wild variety in Borges, for example, or the films of Almodovar, or the fever-dream quality of Bolano’s The Amulet.