Monday, March 28, 2011

Blame Lori Roy - by Julianna Baggott

Here’s my take on one of the things that’s going on in contemporary publishing. A blur of genres. Literary novelists are storming the previously genre-fied outposts – some might call them ghettoized literary landscapes like noir, the gothic, mysteries, thrillers.

You want evidence? Look at Lori Roy’s reviews for BENT ROAD. “Like Michael Chabon’s work, which sometimes crosses genres, Roy’s novel could be called literary fiction or mystery.” Chabon’s another great example of the genre blur. (In fact, with Summerland, he joined a fine influx of company into the world of kid-lit – Isabel Allende, Walter Mosley, Anne Ursu… ) How else do we explain Justin Cronin’s masterful first installment of his vampire trilogy after two literary titles? How do we explain Jeff Vandermeer’s high-art sci-fi? How do we explain Roy’s debut?

I love this movement. It breaks down walls. It allows novelists from both sides of those walls more freedom. We’ve been categorized and, contrary by nature, we buck.

My new novel, THE PROVENCE CURE FOR THE BROKENHEARTED, under my pen name Bridget Asher, could surely be called chicklit, except it isn’t. It pushes too hard at the edges of that narrow container and breaks out of it – with tougher heartache, lyricism, and insight (at least that’s my great ambition for the novel). THE ANYBODIES (under my pen name N.E. Bode) could be seen as just for kids – except I wrote a lot of it with read-aloud adults in mind. THE PRINCE OF FENWAY PARK could be called whimsy, except it’s really about racism.

My upcoming trilogy PURE – is a post-apocalyptic, dystopic, thriller- romance-mystery with revisionist history and science that’s YA except it’s not because it’s being published by an adult house, and, to boot, I push the language. What the hell is it?

The answer I want to give is: Don’t ask. Just read.

Let the blur continue. Let writers like Roy break down those walls. Let’s keep the terrain of all-things-written wide, wide, wide open.


"Fans of Under the Tuscan Sun will adore this impossibly romantic read."
-- People magazine

"Readers who enjoy ... Lolly Winston's Good Grief and Jane Green's The Beach House or travel-induced transformation books like Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love will find common themes ... and become quickly invested in the lives of the deftly drawn characters."
-- Library Journal

"Unabashedly romantic ... a real charmer about a Provencal house that casts spells over the lovelorn."
-- Kirkus Reviews


Julianna Baggott is the author of seventeen books, most recently THE PROVENCE CURE FOR THE BROKENHEARTED under her pen name Bridget Asher, as well as THE PRETEND WIFE and MY HUSBAND’S SWEETHEARTS. She’s the bestselling author of GIRL TALK and, as N.E. Bode, THE ANYBODIES TRILOGY for younger readers. Her essays have appeared widely in such publications as The New York Times Modern Love column, Washington Post,, and Real Simple. You can visit her blog at and her website at

You may purchase a copy of THE PROVENCE CURE FOR THE BROKENHEARTED here

1 comment:

  1. Nice thing to be blamed for Lori. I can't wait to read your book and hope to see you Saturday at Haslams.