Heather Sellers posted a dinner party what to read list on her blog, Word After Word, recently. Can’t help but notice that so much of the list is nonfiction–which I find myself drawn to more and more these days because. . .dare I say, I find it’s better written, manages to combine interesting subject matter with elegant prose more than much of the fiction that seems to find its way to bookstore shelves today.
I read an agent quote from a Poet’s and Writers interview suggesting that there was a lot of “beautifully written” fiction out there but it didn’t “grab” the agent.
Surely, there must be submissions that do both. . .I’m reading The Lace Reader for a book club right now and while the plot is decent enough, I can barely get through the writing, first person present tense, pretentious and self conscious. Is it possible that these editors/agents are revealing a bias against good writing in fiction, believing, when they see it, that they just have a “beautiful little nonstory” on their hands.
Interestingly, one of the other people interviewed described watching teenage girls in a bookstore talking about great books that they’d read and then observed, that, come to think of it, “there are a lot of good books in the YA market these days.” Well written books, too, I’d like to add. I’m rarely disappointed in the writing in a YA book, and the burden of a strong plot is on those books just as much, perhaps more, as their adult counterparts.
Food for thought. What do you think?