Whither the literary reader?

Thither, apparently.

‘I think we are in a period of stagnation. New titles continue to be published into the established categories, and readers are even more prone than before to act like sheep – that is, when they read at all, they read what everybody else is reading,’ said Indyk.

Conformity in readings habits is a modern phenomenon, where one title of genre fiction dominates local and international markets. Meanwhile literary fiction, while lauded on longlists, shortlists and deemed culturally significant, does not sell. Although some titles do buck the trend and occasionally deliver excellent sales.

‘Endangered,’ that’s what Terri-ann White, Director of UWA Publishing, suggests is the state of literary fiction.

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