I made my usual Saturday trip to the library yesterday, and, also as usual, exited with an armful of mind candy. I've been thinking about fiction and writers lately, probably because several folks whose blogs I follow are aspiring novelists, and I've had kind of mixed reactions to the examples they've posted. But I'm realizing I am totally unqualified to critique mainstream fiction. I'm too addicted to escapist mind candy. Given a choice between "literature" (whatever that might be) and a couple forms of genre fiction, the genre fiction (mysteries, science fiction, fantasy) wins every time.
Or almost every time. I did read Louise Erdrich's latest, Shadow Tag, this past week. Her work is usually sufficiently depressing that it must qualify as literature -- and she can write, even if her novels always strike me as a tad thin, more novellas than novels and just barely long enough to merit stand-alone publishing. And I did toy with the idea of "serious" reading this time. Escapism won.