Genre Prejudice

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series The Biz

Over at Absolute Write Jenna Glatzer has interviewed Victoria Strauss (who writes fantasy, and is very active in the sf world). Here’s Victoria’s answer to a loaded question:

Have you encountered any “genre prejudice?”  That is, I hear that some genre writers feel they don’t get as much respect as those who write “literary fiction,” whatever that may mean.  Do you think that “literary” and “fantasy” are mutually exclusive genres? 

Yes, I do encounter genre prejudice. I think every genre writer does. Many people assume that genre writers are not “serious” writers, or that the fiction they produce is by definition inferior, or that it’s somehow easier to write than “real” literature. There are also the people who are surprised when I tell them I research my novels, because they think that with fantasy you can just “make it all up.” It’s irksome not just on a personal level, but because it closes off potential audiences. For instance, I think that anyone who enjoys historical novels would enjoy my latest book, in which history, culture, and tradition is as important as magic and adventure. But most mainstream readers never go into the sf/fantasy section of the bookstore.

Well, I read across genres and I’m always looking for a good historical. Off to Village Books to order The Burning Land.

Link via Elizabeth Bear by way of Sillybean.

Series Navigationplot + character | genre – literature >>