How Important is Genre Fiction?

I read in The Guardian on Friday that print sales for literary fiction have remained low since they plummeted in 2010. This ‘crisis’, highlighted in a report commissioned by the Arts Council England (ACE), has the same Council considering to fund this publishing genre.

It would be a mistake, I think, to assume that other genres only reflect society rather than examine it, or do not have anything worthwhile to say, and therefore don’t merit support.

Should we not question ACE’s literature director’s reported comment, “… we are saying that there is something so unique and important and necessary and fundamental about literary fiction in particular, that we need to focus on it and support it.”?

Shouldn’t ACE concentrate on promoting literacy in schools, or reading in adulthood, with the aim to allow the reader, not ACE, to support the authors of literary fiction or any other genre?

 

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