Monday, April 26, 2010

You Don't Have to Agree or Disagree

I just finished reading David Shield's Reality Hunger and found myself stopping often—thinking about what he said or quoted. While I don't agree or disagree with everything he wrote, I found myself anxious to sit down and write. He's a gadfly.

When Reality Hunger first appeared critics lined up on either side—for or against his statement: "The novel is dead. Long live the antinovel built from scraps."

Blake Morrison's review in The Guardian A Manifesto

"Shields has written a provocative and entertaining manifesto. But in his hunger for reality, he forgets that fiction also offers the sustenance of truth."

If you write, if you read —I think this is an important book. It prods the writer, reader, to engage with the text.

In the month since the book first appeared, numerous critics, authors, bloggers , commentators have lavished praise or distain or occasionally straddled a middle road.

Don't straddle—engage.

I don't believe that narrative is dead; however, I find myself drawn to books that push the boundaries.

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