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She Makes a Good Point

This morning, Jennifer Howard posted a nice article about Three Percent and Open Letter on the Chronicle of Higher Education blog. Which is fantastic for us, although this line set me to thinking:

In the meantime, maybe someone will come up with a better phrase than “international literature,” which is about as precise a moniker as “ethnic food.”

First off, she’s completely right. The term “international literature” may imply “exotic,” but is totally bland. And it appears everywhere on this website, in the info about Open Letter, etc. So is there something better?

Mysteries can be subcategorized into thrillers, psycho-thrillers, noir, crime, detective, etc. Even chick-lit can be either craptastic or shiteous.

But “literary fiction”? “International Literary Fiction”? That means almost any book-like object containing words written someplace in the world.

It doesn’t help that Barnes & Noble totally confuses the matter by using “fiction” and “literature” interchangeably. (Insert James Frey joke here.) Still, good, solid, long-lasting, thought-provoking literature should have more descriptive phrases for itself.

So, anyone out there have any suggestions?



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