Monday, December 11, 2006

What makes a Literary Novel

What is a literary novel - it's a term that I hear bandied about but it is ver hard to find a definition - even on the internet. I am currently reading The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan and wondered if it came into this category, it certainly is not "chick lit". I have read a wide range of books this year - poetry, fiction, factual and autobiography. I must confess though that I got rather stck reading Bob Dylan's Chronicles. I think it is because he includes very little personal detail. When I read an autobiography I like to hear about the writer's personal life, their emotions and what makes them tick. Dylan includes none of this, which is a ral shame as I suspect that it would make riveting reading, instead he tells us abou cafes he played in and how he made various musical contacts.

At present I have at least ten books in my pile waiting to be read and some of these are worthy reads (does that equal literary?) - The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossseini, Fugitive Pieces - Anne Michaels, Lost in Translation - Eva Hoffman, autobiographies - e.g. Marc Almond and more mainstream fiction - Julie Myerson and Tony Parsons.

4 comments:

theprovocativecynic said...

My own highly-irreverent opinion is that a literary novel is one where plot takes second place to style and language - but I wouldn't quote me on that!

Anvilcloud said...

Some literature is highly over-rated. I remember being induced to read In the Skin of a Lion. I'm glad it was relatively short.

theprovocativecynic said...

This article might interest you!

http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_a_l/howard_jacobson/article209688.ece

pupski said...

thanks!