Armchair BEA – Day 3 – Literary Fiction
Hmm… literary fiction – how do you even define that?
What’s literary fiction for me could be utter crap to you and vice versa. Heck, I bet half of us (myself included) can’t even define literary fiction – which is why I Goggled it to find a good definition so I could at least write a post without looking like a complete idiot (part idiot is fine, I do it on a daily base).
I’ve visited several sites, all by established authors, publishers and editors (and Wikipedia) and no-one seems to agree on what literary fiction actually is. However, the one common theme to all is that literary fiction is character driven rather than plot driven and is “elegantly written, lyrical, and … layered” – something so abstract and general that you’d be hard pressed to find two people who agree on what that means.
So here is the problem, if someone asked me to read a character driven, lyrical book I’d probably pass on it. That being said, I read these types of books before and some I actually loved.
So the questions still remain: what is my favorite literary fiction book I read this year and which ones would I recommend?
Well, here they are (not in order) – I just hope they fit the genre:
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid is a fictional book in guise of a self-help book (but with a story).
The Krautzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy is a novella written in 1889. At times this novella seemed like a rant that goes on page after page, but taken as a whole I can certainly see the genius behind it.
Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende is a fictional novel and a coming of age story. Ms. Allende is an award winning, internationally famous, Chilean writer.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini is the long awaited novel by this bestselling author. Mr. Hoseini’s previous novels, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, sold more than 38 million books.
My Ántonia by Willa Cather was written in 1918 and is considered the last in the “Prairie Trilogy” following O Pioneers! (review) And The Song of the Lark. This book is considered one of the greatest novels written by an American.
Zohar – Man of la Book