Re: RARA-AVIS: Ellroy reviewd at Salon: after all

From: Anthony Dauer (
Date: 14 Jun 2001

I miswrote there, it should read: ''... why are those works not shelved
[library] in their genre ..." My point being that if publishers are determining it for both bookstores and libraries, King for example is in the genre ghetto in a bookstore and thus should be in the same place in the library. Granted, King's works have been going beyond simply being horror novels and that very well may be why some are moving out.

Also, if you read King's "On Writing" ... King's a very literary person and while I don't read his books (other than "On Writing" and an excerpt from
"It", I find it odd that his literary education doesn't show through in his fictional work as it does in "On Writing". And the quality of the writing in
"On Writing" is exceptional as well ... he's very articulate and engaging
(also, unlike a lot of unpublished writing how-to authors he doesn't delude the reader with the idea that anyone can write and all they have to do is follow his easy 5 step plan). Reading it and nothing more isn't a good basis to make an educated opinion, but if forced to do so ... I'd have to say his best seller status and not the quality of writing has more to do with his work being denigrated simply on principle (it's popular, it can't be good) than an actual lack of worthiness.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not denying your experience as being true ... just that it doesn't match mine from the other perspective of the bookstore. Granted, based on the personalities of some of the bookstore workers I've met, I wouldn't be surprised if they read the publisher's recommendation and then put it where they thought it belonged any way even if that opposed the genre printed on the cover (I've seen that even when it was a non-fiction work).

Personally, I don't mind having genre sections to look through for reading material ... I can start at the beginning and look at the spines for anything that grabs me from beginning to end. If it were all in the same section that would take an excessively long time to do.

Anthony Dauer
Alexandria, VA

HBO's Six Feet Under Discussion
----- Original Message ----- From: Jess Nevins Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 9:45 PM

> Not always and increasingly not often, from what I can tell. But I think > the publishers guide the LoC classifications in large part. > > That still begs the question, though, about why publishers want > some authors out of genre ghettos and not others.
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