by Alexander Chee
AMHERST, MA -
Yesterday, in my Fiction II class, as the students introduced themselves I asked them to speak about what they’d been reading over the summer. One student impressively admitted to reading both Underworld and Infinite Jest. Another, though, shyly said she was reading YA novels.
“I suspect they’re more fun,” she said.
“To read or to write,” I asked.
“Both,” she said.
“Well,” I said, “I think it has something to do with what Doris Lessing said once about 20th century literature, that it was a long cry of pain.” (more…)