“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Little French Fancy

God bless Tana French and her fanciful notions. Obviously the various prizes and gushings of critical acclaim that accompanied IN THE WOODS and THE LIKENESS have gone to her noggin, because over at the Penguin interweb portal she’s yakking it up about breaking down the ‘ridiculous imaginary barrier’ between mystery fiction and literature. To wit:
Q: Your novels have won critical acclaim, a broad public following, and a well-deserved sackful of awards. What would you still like to accomplish as a writer?

A: “I don’t have a long-term plan. Actually, I still find it hard to think ahead even as far as the end of the book I’m working on-the idea of writing a whole book seems so ridiculously huge that I just focus on the next little section, or I’ll freak myself out. At the moment, I’m working on the fourth book (Scorcher Kennedy, who shows up in FAITHFUL PLACE, is the narrator this time) and my only goal as a writer is to get this one right!
  “On a broader scale, though . . . I hope someday soon we’ll get to the point where “mystery” and “literature” are no longer seen as mutually exclusive. There have always been crime novels that are every bit as beautifully written and as thematically complex as the finest literary fiction, and there have always been literary novels shaped around a crime framework. But there are still a few people (apparently people who’ve never read, for example, the courtroom drama TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD) who have real difficulty with the idea of things not fitting neatly under one label, so they still think of genre fiction and literature as utterly separate, unconnected and unconnectable. More and more crime writers are rebelling against that, and I’d love to be a small part of the force that finally crumbles that ridiculous imaginary barrier.”
  For the full interview, clickety-click here

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