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what is it?


Often I get asked, “What is ‘literary fiction’? What does that mean?”

Something more than an absence of popular genre? Of an apparent relation to the ‘canonical’ works?

The best answer, I think, comes from Italo Calvino:

Literature offers solid ground for anyone trying to establish a system of such flexibility and subtlety that it can forgo a perfect absence of any system whatsoever.

Total freedom. That’s it. For the reader, an endless ink-and-paper bounty. For the writer, an open sea.

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