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Friday, January 19, 2007
The fiction conundrum
A reader writes in perturbed by my admission that I am among the throng who view fiction as growing comparatively small in stature in the years since Sep. 11, 2001. Her view is wroth airing and considering. She writes:
Perhaps the problem is American fiction or British and American fiction. Since 9/11 wasn't that long ago, and I don't think great novels come along that often, I don't expect the yearly product from fill-in-the-blank novelist is going to be good.... Perhaps the moment for fiction has simply moved away from the (declining) world powers to more remote regions, where people are more inclined to exist in the slower time that fiction requires. The best novels I have read in recent times are Italian, Spanish, and so forth... and if I were more adventurous, I'm sure I would find comparable ones in Africa and Japan....