First Novelists

First Novelists

142 New Novels for Fall & Winter

Library Journal October 1, 1988

… For years, LJ has posed a question to authors and published a selection of their responses. This time, we asked them for their insights into trends in contemporary fiction and where they saw their own work in relation to those trends.

Katherine Neville
The Eight

“Just as Guarneri learned to make a better violin by keeping his eye on what Stradivari was up to, so do we fiction writers read books — not only for information or entertainment as other readers do — but with a peek up the sleeve to see how it was done. To learn the tricks of the trade.

There are many wonderful trends in today’s fiction … But in my travels I’ve learned that we American writers seem to be the last of a dying breed churning out the real novel in the classical tradition. Whether it’s a three-generation saga of a family living through war, strife, and marital problems (after Tolstoy); the tale of a young woman trapped in suburbia, living out her fantasies by having an affair with the neighbor (snitched from Flaubert); or the potboiler about the lifestyles of the rich and famous (inspired by Marcel Proust), the plots still pique the interest and delight the hearts of readers everywhere.”


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