Today, in participation of Joy’s literature-related blog party, I’m answering questions about the modern novel. And having a deuce of a time, I might add.
1. Who are your most well-loved authors of the mid to late twentieth century (1930-1960)?
If every question is going to be this difficult, I may well be here all day trying to answer them. I’m going to say Rosemary Sutcliff, Dodie Smith, and Tolkien. I could name more, but I like keeping things in threes.
2. Who are your favourite authors of the twenty-first century?
This is going to be much harder to narrow down. Jenny Frietag (and no, she didn’t twist my arm to make me say that. She isn’t large enough), Patricia McKillip, Neil Gaiman, Maggie Stiefvater, Allison Croggon, Caitlyn Kittredge, Robin Hobb, and Stephen Lawhead. (All right; I’m going to include Katie Sabelko, Rachel Heffington, and Abigail Hartman because let’s face it; they’re also brilliant.)
3. Which genres do you tend to read the most and enjoy from more modern fiction?
Typically, I enjoy fantasy in the modern genre, although I can safely say I’ve read every acceptable genre and enjoyed some from all of them. It’s hard to narrow my tastes down because honestly, I have favorites in every category under the sun. Fantasy tends to beat the rest, I will say that.
4. Are you more willing to invest yourself in a fictional trilogy/series or do you prefer the stand-alone novel better?
It depends on how much time I’m willing to invest. If a book doesn’t jazz me, I won’t bother reading the rest of the series. If I like the book, I’ll read the series. Typical.
5. While it is generally agreed that nothing beats classic fiction, there is much gold in the new too! What are the positive qualities and styles of modern fiction?
As a rule of thumb, I enjoy modern fiction far more than classics. Classic novels are, in my experience, generally overrated. Writing will always be writing; every century will have the good and the bad. Modern novels today will be classics tomorrow, and so on. I think modern fiction is more personal and accessible, probably; less stuffy and aloof than classic novels. Then again, I’ve read good classics and bad modern fiction. It’s a diverse world.
6. What is your greatest hope for modern fiction?
I can’t say I’ve ever considered having ‘hope for modern fiction,’ or for any kind of writing at all. I hope that people are touched in the right ways by the right kinds of books, and that goes for books of every genre and century.
7. List five books by modern authors you have read which you either hope or predict will become “classics” in years to come.
A Wrinkle In Time, The Grand Sophy, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Plenilune, The Paradise War.
8. In reading modern books, do you predominately read from the secular or Christian market?
To quote Jenny, “Most of the time Christian fiction is shallow, unrealistic, uninformed, and uninspiring…So yes, I tend to read secular fiction. When the Christian authors can gird up their loins adequately (and talk of loins without colouring up and lowering their voices) I’ll probably be perfectly happy to read them too.”
9. List three of your favourite novels written in this century.
This is ridiculous pressure. I don’t appreciate it. I simply read too much; one can’t put these kinds of limits on me. I will say that Some (capital ‘S’) of my favorites were The Thirteenth Tale, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Inkheart.
10. Of various as-of-yet unpublished books that you know about, what are five that you most wish to read one day?
Lamblight, Maresgate, Cruxgang, Drakeshelm, Ampersand, Wordcrafter, and the next Tawny Man novel.