Thursday, August 8, 2013

Russian Literature today | Jennifer Weiner on Book Clubs' selection

"Two distinct polarities appear to have emerged among the current spread of literary genres in Russia: on the one hand, there is a yearning for nonfiction, including biographies, "true stories", travelogues and investigative novels; one the other hand, there is "a fortunate impregnation of fantastic elements into realistic narratives", as writer and critic Alisa Ganieva puts it. She goes on to say: "There is an obvious drive to record the reality as true to lofe as possible (your non-fiction fad), while simultaneously looking beyond the horizons and trying to perceive what awaits this country and all of humanity in the future, taking the country's current political and social system and projecting it into a not-so-distant future. In other words, it is in a way realistic prose posing as fantasy."

Jennifer Weiner on Book Clubs' selection 
“A book club will by all means pick up Franzen. It’s being written about everywhere — you can’t avoid it. But are they going to read ‘The Unknowns’ or even [Meg Wolitzer's] ‘The Interestings’ — books with covers that are not playing into warm and fuzzy feelings or with a portrait of a woman shot from the back, the kind that say to book clubs, ‘This one’s for you’?”

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