If you want to read the Greatest Work of 9/11 Literature, the consensus is: keep waiting. It will be a long time before someone writes it.
Heller wrote Catch-22 almost 20 years after Pearl Harbor; War and Peace wasn’t finished until 50 years after France’s invasion of Russia; and I think the jury may still be out on who wrote the definitive work on Vietnam. We can’t blame earnest authors for trying. It just wasn’t long enough ago yet.
From The Guardian a week or so ago, some numbers and a well-argued article indicating that perhaps the reported Death of Books Has Been Greatly Exaggerated.
For one thing, people are buying more and more books in Amazonia, and more and more of them are on Amazon’s ebook platform the Kindle. In May this year, Amazon announced that, for the first time, it was selling more Kindle versions of books than paperback and hardbacks combined, and (here’s the thing that doesn’t get quoted so often) sales of print books were still increasing.
You don’t need to keep your finger on the pulse of the contemporary scene to realize how important a subject boredom has become. We’ve all felt the emotion often — or at least we all think we feel it often.
Also, if you haven’t seen the shortlist for this year’s Booker Prize, here it is:
- The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
- Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch
- The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
- Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
- Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
- Snowdrops by A.D. Miller