Literary fiction covers the gamut of human expression. Within its bounds you’ll find stories with subtle romance, intriguing mystery, smart suspense, savvy humor, fantastical escapes, futuristic forecasts, and time-past historicals. It’s not what the novel is about that labels it literary, but the whole storytelling package, from prose to plot. This week in LitChat we’re discussing edgy, gritty literary fiction. Think about ambiguous characters and dark or dangerous settings, then join us for open chat on Monday and Wednesday (October 26 & 28) for Grit Lit.
Read the chatscript from Monte Schulz’s guest host interview here.
On Friday, October 30, joins us as guest host. His new novel, This Side of Jordan, inspired this week’s topic with its gritty, prohibition-era setting and trio of reprobates, rascals, and rejects. The novel grabs your sympathy for hapless farmboy, Alvin Pendergrast, but twists it into a knot of ambivalence as Alvin stumbles along a turbulent path with a sociopathic gangster and a beguiling dwarf—all of them refugees from social, cultural or physical bondage.
This Side of Jordan is Monte Schulz’s second novel. His first, Down by the River, was published by Viking in 1991. Library Journal raved that Down by the River compared to Stand by Me and Twin Peaks, and seemed “ready-made for Hollywood.” Monte spent ten years writing Crossing Eden, from which This Side Of Jordan is drawn as the first of three interconnected novels; the second and third, Fields of Eden and The Big Town, will be published in 2010 and 2011.
Schulz received his M.A. in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He lives in Northern California. He is the son of Charles M. Schulz, creator of Peanuts.
Monte tweets under the name: @ArthurBurtnett.
Moderator during Wednesday’s open chat is Darrelyn Saloom (@ficwriter). Darrelyn is co-writing a memoir with and about Deirdre Gogarty, the 1997 WIBF Champion from Ireland. She also guest blogs for Writer’s Digest editor Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) and is a frequent contributor to #LitChat.