Q:I've recently been reading a lot of fiction along the lines of Franzen, Egan, Foer, Wallace, etc.
And I can't help but realize that your writing style is no less good than theirs, and that young adult fiction, while undoubtedly very important, perhaps does not deserve your full attention.
I know you started writing the noir, but are there any plans to release a non-young adult book? I always feel like I'm taking the easy way out when reading one of your books (not an insult, just that your books aren't as complicated as A Visit From The Goon Squad or The Corrections (not to mention Infinite Jest, which I swear I will read one day).
But do you think you ever /will/ branch out into more adult-themed fiction?
If I’m doing my job, my work stands up to DFW and Franzen and Egan no matter where it gets stocked in bookstores. But frankly, I’ll never be as purely gifted as those writers. There are, however, YA writers who are among the world’s best living novelists: M. T. Anderson and Markus Zusak, for instance.
I don’t really think novels for adults have inherently different themes from YA novels (like, Egan’s Good Squad is functionally a kind of coming-of-age story, albeit not one about teenagers. And David Foster Wallace is certainly very popular with teenagers).
I like publishing the way I publish partly because it reminds me that books are supposed to do something other than just prove to the reader that the author is intelligent. (I don’t think that criticism applies to DFW or Franzen or Egan, but too much literary fiction is merely clever.) I’m very prone to that kind of self-indulgence, and honestly it is only when I am writing for teenagers that I feel like I am doing work that is useful.
And that’s very important to me: Writing novels takes a long time, and it’s completely impossible for me to do it unless I feel like the thing I’m working on is going to be helpful to people.
Maybe to my discredit as a writer, I like to make stuff that is useful more than I like to make stuff that is beautiful.* In short, I write because I share DFW’s belief that books can actually make human life better. For me, at least for the conceivable future, that means writing YA novels.**
And I don’t feel like you’re taking the easy way out if you read my books. There’s plenty of room for both Franzen and me. Reading isn’t an easy way out. Watching NCIS is an easy way out.
* although of course books are seldom useful unless they are also beautiful.
** I mean, of course I am not saying that adult fiction is not helpful: DFW’s work, for instance, is extremely helpful to me on a literally daily basis. I just mean that I personally feel most useful, as a writer, when writing books about teenagers. And readers, at least thus far, seem to agree.
1113 Notes/ Hide
- animals-dont-talk likes this
- misswritergirl likes this
- getawayorelse likes this
- pheeeeeeebs likes this
- hailthepie reblogged this from fishingboatproceeds
- hailthepie likes this
- just-another-cockbite likes this
- sleepydre4mer likes this
- taraswanderland likes this
- ccarolinegivskov likes this
- entertaininginformation reblogged this from fishingboatproceeds
- kelseahenderson likes this
- maebhe likes this
- journeymansprimarywalk likes this
- tswift23 reblogged this from fishingboatproceeds
- takerefugeingod likes this
- seeingwhatsinbetweenthelines likes this
- intothebathysphere likes this
- thejokerisatimelord likes this
- spierrow likes this
- gerardsbosoms likes this
- lifeisntasongsweetling reblogged this from fishingboatproceeds
- lifeisntasongsweetling likes this
- texastoharvard likes this
- theolivemanpbj likes this
- changeorstaythesame likes this
- marie1d likes this
- taylorxjeannn likes this
- iwood27 reblogged this from fishingboatproceeds
- -stuckinthemiddle- likes this
- orsomethinglikethatreally reblogged this from fishingboatproceeds
- we-escape-our-mistakes likes this
- nocturnal-oblivion likes this
- bands-and-books-and-tvshows reblogged this from fishingboatproceeds
- laurra12 likes this
- allonsyjake reblogged this from fishingboatproceeds
- allonsyjake likes this
- i-8-ur-soul reblogged this from fishingboatproceeds
- canadaisforlosers likes this
- maamr333 likes this
- alivetogod likes this
- virnnich reblogged this from fishingboatproceeds
- tantandc likes this
- loquacious-purple-zebra reblogged this from fishingboatproceeds
- nineteenhundredandfour likes this
- rythica likes this
- fangirlstation likes this
- highonfelix likes this
- suburban-dystopia likes this
- conqueressprevails likes this