‘Misery Lit’

The last couple of years, there have been a HUGE AMOUNT of real-life books focussing on things like child abuse, …and child abuse.

What’s the deal? What started all this off?

A long time ago it was The Notebook and a bunch of similar books, now it’s all about people writing about their horrible childhoods. I think it possibly started with ‘Angela’s Ashes’ and now it’s stuff like ‘Not Without My Sister’. You can tell when it’s one of these ‘missing childhood’ stories when you see the cover. A crayon-like script handwritten across it, possibly with a picture of a young kid with a dour expression in ill-fitting clothes.

I think the more important question is, are there any signs of this trend abating?

Some articles from the Guardian, the BBC and The Independent about this grim, voyeuristic, real-life trauma drama.

Currently reading…

I’m always in the middle of reading loads of books.

Right now I’m reading:

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman – started reading my girlfriend’s copy a while back and I’m carrying on reading my own hardback copy.

Feersum Endjinn by Ian M. Banks – some parts of this are REALLY hard to read (whole chapters written phoenetically like the title) but after many moons of this collecting dust by the side of the bed I’m wading through it again and it’s finally gotten to the good bits I hope.

How to Write Damn Good Fiction by James Frey – haven’t gotten far on this one because my writing is basically on hold until I get my laptop sorted out. I know, I’m lazy. But I do have a notebook I carry around with a few ideas for stories and such.

Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel – bought for its archery basis but looks to be a nice short book about leading a zen-like life.