Paperback Writer: Do Irish writers make a living?These are tough times for publishing. It is a late but definite casualty of the recession, with falling sales, the steady rise of self-publishing and yet another crisis of identity in 'serious' literature. Emily Hourican asks if it is still possible to make a living as a writer
John Boyne, who is appearing at Mountains to Sea 2014 with David Mitchell on Friday, September 12th @ 8.30pm.
'Anyone who was in London this summer, and saw posters for Eimear McBride's debut novel, A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing plastered across the sides of buses, would have been forgiven for thinking this was the hot summer blockbuster and McBride the new EL James. A bonk-buster, perhaps; chick lit, certainly. In reality, McBride has been called Joycean, even Beckettian, by reviewers clearly struggling with conveying the substance of a book that has no formal plot. This is a work of 'serious' literature, with claims to rewriting the duties and scope of 'The Novel', but for promotional purposes, it's getting the Carrie Bradshaw treatment - the side of a bus. - See more at: http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-news/paperback-writer-do-irish-writers-make-a-living-30506317.html#sthash.XSQSVbwN.6UYOVv7k.dpuf
It's a bit bizarre alright, but then, these are angsty times for publishing - falling sales and profits, bulk discounting, the rise of self-publishing, even a crisis of identity and aspiration in fiction. The novel, Will Self intoned in May, is dead, "and this time it's for real". Fearful publishing companies are reluctant to take chances any more, instead they are casting around for a 'sure thing', something to halt the rot.
So, what is catching their eye? Well, there is the slightly manic crossing of lines at the moment - a kind of tarts and vicars party in which serious writers masquerade as genre writers. This is not entirely new - Graham Greene wrote what he called 'entertainments', books like The Third Man and This Gun For Hire, alongside his 'serious' novels, like The Power and the Glory - but it is increasing.' .... see the full article on the Irish Independent website here