In an interview with The Atlantic, Zone One author Colson Whitehead says the distinction between "literary" and "fantasy" genres "have no use for me in my day-to-day work experience." Whitehead is just one of the recent high-profile authors to foray into genre fiction, however, as Kim Wright explored in a piece for us last month.
In the world of selling books, it's not all about the sentences. At Ploughshares, agent Eric Nelson argues: A fresh plot matters and unusual characters do, too. "The most interesting books have characters who do the opposite of what we’d do... Imagine Hamlet, if Hamlet took decisive action. Horror movies wouldn’t exist at all without the idiot who always suggests they split up."
“What matters is you, all alone at your desk at five in the morning.” We've come a long way from Dear Abby and Ann Landers, says Megan Marz in an essay for The Point, in which she looks at a younger generation of columnists that includes Cheryl Strayed, Heather Havrilesky, and Kristen Dombek. And speaking of advice! Have you checked out our new writing-advice counselors Swarm and Spark? No? Well then hie yourself to their column already!
Jeffrey Goldberg interviews Quentin Tarantino in The Atlantic and writes about why Inglorious Basterds is a very un-Jewish treatment of rage toward Nazis.
The new issue of The Enemy is out, and it’s got some goodies which may be of interest to Millions readers. Among them are two new poems by Ruth Ellen Kocher, who won the 2014 PEN Open Book prize; an appraisal of the value of bad art by sociologist Alison Gerber; and a reassessment of the MFA by Beckett Flannery.