a new genre in fiction?

14 Aug

What would you call a “boundary-breaking kind of novel that shatters all the too-often-pigeonholing categories we use to compartmentalize modern fiction”?

If you were NY Times reviewer Douglas Coupland earlier this year when he wrote about Hari Kunzru’s Gods without Men, you’d call it translit.  If you realized this label has at least two other meanings already, you might invent a different word.  Regardless of what you choose to call it, or whether you consider this style truly new in the fiction universe, you may want to check out the narrative creativity that sparked this conversation.

In his review, Coupland identifies Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio among the early predecessors of these works, and Cunningham’s The Hours and Callahan’s Cloud Atlas among the 21st century anchors.  Bill Ott, in a summer column about translit for American Libraries, identifies other contenders, including Nick Harkaway’s Angelmaker (on the library’s Amazon wish list) and books by Haruki Murakami.

You can find these works by Anderson, Callahan, Cunningham, and Kunzru, as well as numerous books by Murakami, in the MW Library. Does translit deserve Coupland’s “beyond literature” category? What traits set these novels apart? Read them and decide.

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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in news


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