[DWJ] Newly discovered books

Charles Butler charles.hannibal at gmail.com
Mon Aug 6 10:32:28 EDT 2007

Is "issue book" always and necessarily a pejorative term, I wonder? Does it
always carry an implication of two-dimensionality and reductiveness? Can
anybody recommend a book which they would describe as an issue book AND a
great book? Would Aimee be happy to hear *Uglies* so described, for example?

Also... although I'm sure it's true that some authors sit down and think,
"No one's done an issue book recently about X, so why don't I fill the gap
in the market?" I'm doubtful that they all start this way. Did Scott
Westerfield, for example, begin with the issue of body image and build a
story to illustrate the issue? Perhaps - but I doubt it was quite as neat as
that. Books take quite a time to write, and sometimes the "issues" occur to
the author during that process, or even at the stage of revision. I suspect
that whether a book is labelled an issues book depends on a number of
factors, including the way it came into being, the way it's published and
marketed, the way (if applicable) it's taught, whether or not the critic
happens to like it, and what its author has to say about it, as well as more
intrinsic factors such as its multi-facetedness, subtlety, etc.


Website: www.charlesbutler.co.uk

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