Time to let the inner curmudgeon out for some exercise.
So first of all we had Young Adult. Okay.
Inner curmudgeon: Couldn’t they read Wuthering Heights?
Then New Adult. Okay. I think.
Inner curmudgeon: Couldn’t they just get over themselves already and read Pride & Prejudice?
What’s next? Disaffected Late 20s? Early 30s seeking for affirmation? 40s going through marital angst (oh wait, we already have that–it’s Women’s Fiction).
Because this begs the curmudgeonly questions, What About the Grownups? What the heck are we supposed to read? Who’s writing for us? And why does the industry–and oh yes, writers, too–insist on niching us all into oblivion?
Which brings me to the subject of the week from a few weeks ago, Dear Author’s post We Should Let the Historical Genre Die and Diane’s elegant rebuttal here. It seems like historicals are filling a major niche in that editors (and some of us but so obviously not me) can have all the hot dukes they need to get through the day. But for those of us who like a bit of historical accuracy what a terrific opportunity to show young people taking on life experiences and responsibilities and all that stuff. You were either a child or an adult then, despite what your hormones thought. (Although I should add that fiction as an excuse to teach a moral lesson is just a wee bit out of date by a couple of centuries. The comment “Yes, but what does your heroine learn?” makes me growl.)
(And I should also add that we can get into squicky territory with medieval heroines in their early teens marrying aristos old enough to be their father/grandfather, but let’s not go there.)
But back to our regularly scheduled program and I think I’ve used up the parantheses quota for the day anyway. So while I’d like to say that historicals will provide some grownup reading experiences, it may not happen. I guess we’d all rather read about hot young things bumping boots, although I’m rather fond of characters who know what they’re doing after years of practice.