On Wednesday November 14th, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., much lauded author Sherman Alexie returns to Albuquerque for a reading at UNM’s Woodward Hall in promotion of his new book, Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories. The reading is FREE and open to the public, and is sponsored by Bookworks and UNM’s Creative Writing program. Blue Mesa Review had the opportunity to interview Sherman in October and the interview will appear in our upcoming online issue in December, but we decided to give you a little taste below!
BMR: There’s definitely a divide between “literary fiction” and “genre fiction.” Do you think genre fiction can teach anything to literary fiction?
SA: Oh yea, plot! If you actually tell a story? It seems that genre fiction gets punished for actually telling a story. And it can be clumsy. I can enjoy a very clumsy, not well-written book because it could have an interesting story. Like some of the more middling mystery writers. You know there’s this one, James Rollins, who writes these sort of giant, epic fantasies. Sentence to sentence he’s a terrible writer, but his stories are so amazing and so imaginative, that you forgive the eighteen clichés a page. He writes thousand page novels, about one every week and a half. I mean I also envy his work ethic. Why punish that? Why be an asshole? Why not admit to being entertained? Because the thing is, all these literary writers who look down their noses at genre fiction, they’re watching “Transformers,” the movie, and they’re eating Big Macs. You know why people eat at McDonald’s? Because it’s fucking good?