Linked: Chad Taylor On Genreless Books

New Zealand writer Chad Taylor on genreless books:

Genre is really just shaped by what sells. The label has more to do with marketing than anything. It also has more to do with what editors are comfortable [with], and that shapes how the book is promoted. The good thing about [this categorisation] is that if the books do have a crime element then you can describe it is a kind of a crime novel, and after that everyone relaxes and gets on with reading it. I think that literature is, at the moment, as rigorous in its characteristics and rules as, say, chick lit. There are certain things that qualify as literature. Certain kinds of books win the Commonwealth Writers’ prize and certain books win the Booker prize. Currently [the author’s] ethnicity and [cultural] inheritance is very, very important. Which doesn’t invalidate the work or make it, but there is some kind of bias in that post-modern idea that who you are defines what you write.

Well, there does seems to be some fixation on Indian writers, particularly so when we’re talking about literary awards. Does anyone have an explanation for this?

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