I’ve had the impression lately that the quality of literature available to readers today is stagnating. While the opening up of the industry to independent authors might have ushered in new styles of writing, most of these authors follow the same safe writing guidelines that novelists follow for fear of veering off the beaten track. The straightforward style of Harry Potter is one thing – it’s a kids book after all. But shouldn’t the books adults read be as challenging as ever? Why should they follow the same naive musings of YA, which are legitimate in their own right, but not quite geared at the grown-up reader. Why is so much independent writing locked in romance or fantasy? Or murder mysteries? Where are the deft masters of language like Iris Murdoch and Philip Roth?
I feel as though Zadie Smith has that command, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie too. What about us Americans? Certainly Junot Diaz. Jonathan Safran Foer was a hero of mine, but his latest book is just way too suburban for me to swallow.
When I was writing my own book, it was a challenge for me to create my own literary style. One that meshed magical realism and poetry with the raw vibe of the street.
In the meantime, I wondered who I could turn to for guidance. Who is the great author American author of today? Who writes not for the masses, but for their own heart? With measured aplomb, magic and truth?
Share your thoughts and recommendations please…