Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Talkin' 'Bout My Generation of Literature

[photo of the Lost Generation via PBS]
[photo of the Beat Generation via PBS]

Read this on Shelf Awareness this morning:

"For understanding to bloom and the world to make sense to them, the young should not merely read literature that reflects on their immediate concerns, but books which reflect the zeitgeist, as ours did. They should read around the filibustering of religious narratives in the face of evolution, on the theme of the death of the exotic, about fabulous financial foxes and climate change catastrophe. Each generation has its own coming of age literature. What is this new generation reading?"-- Philip Hall, from "The new generation's Catch-22," a post on the Guardian's Books Blog.

The 20s had the Lost Generation. The 50s had the Beat Generation.

What writers and books do you think most represent today's generation? The This American Life clique of David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell? Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius? Donald Miller, Jordan Green, Susan Isaacs, Ariele Gentiles, and all the other writers over at Burnside Writers Collective? Post 9/11 stories like Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Joseph O'Neill's Netherland?


TKOhara said...

Arguably bloggers are the writers who define our generation. Now everyone has a chance to be an author, assuming they have internet access, and amazingly they will find their audience. Writers like David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs managed to find a wider audience but they are essentially writing about their own lives like many bloggers.

Stephanie Nikolopoulos said...

@TKOhara: You make an interesting point. Today's authors are mainly writing memoirs. It seems the Me Generation of the 80s has extended itself via MySpace and Facebook to the literary world. Interestingly, it's rather self-indulgent on their part but also appeals to readers' voyeuristic leanings.