Stephanie McCarthy

My So-Called “Genre” Fiction

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm

As a writer and reader, I think a lot about genre fiction.  If I tell people I’m a writer (which I try not to do very often to avoid the looks of pity and fear), the first question is usually, “What kind of books do you write?”  Almost everyone has their own “type” of book.  Oh, I would never read __________ b/c it’s too graphic.  Or I never read _______ b/c it’s too unrealistic.  Members of these genre cliques  are usually fiercely protective.  For example, many mystery readers believe mysteries are “smart” (i.e., they involve some kind of mental challenge).  I’m not so sure.  I’ve read many mysteries that were nind-mumbingly formulaic and dull.  And is this the measure of a good book, anyway?  Do you want to be challenged?  I’ve suggested that the main purpose of a book is to bring a level of comfort to the reader, regardless of what that comfort zone might be. 

So, why do you read? Is there anything you’ve read that defies genre?

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