Placing Granta, which has published Christopher Priest and Lawrence Norfolk (among others) in its Best British Novelist issues as the peak of the evil empire is revelatory, all right–but it speaks rather poorer of LeGuin than it does the magazine.
(I realise this is the minority opinion in the genre, and that I will be duly and appropriately pilloried for it. I can live with that. Apparently Saint Ursula, who regularly appears in The New Yorker, Playboy, and other high-paying markets has decided to make a late career move into being bitter.
In this month’s edition of “The Atlantic,” there is a terrific article on MFA programs. It covers all of the general MFA information you’d expect to see and it mentions the emergence of MFAs in popular fiction.
The mention is less then a few lines in a several page feature, but it’s there! I think this is a very positive indication that genre fiction is beginning to get the attention that it so richly deserves in the field of “serious literature.”
The two universities mentioned as opening the door for YA and popular fiction (in the realm of graduate studies) are Stonecoast’s low-residency MFA program and Seton Hill’s low-residency MA program. As a current student at Stonecoast, I am overwhelmed by the high quality of the program, the excellent instructors, and the talent of my fellow students.
I look forward to seeing how popular/genre fiction continues to prosper in the field of “serious literature”. I think Ursula was right, they didn’t bury the corpse nearly deep enough!
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