The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban


The decline of fiction starring Jonathan Safran Froer

Last week the Atlantic announced that from here on in, it would be publishing fiction only once a year, in a special issue. Once upon a time, Playboy supported a whole generation of worthwhile authors, from Shel Silverstein to Isaac Bashevis Singer and a host of talented goys, too. Before that, Sports Illustrated published Faulkner. Now, there's The New Yorker and the Paris Review and little else, and the consolidation of publishing houses has nearly wiped out the mid-list author, leaving young authors with just one chance to write that great book before they get dropped, and just a handful of editors deciding who gets that one shot at the brass ring. With the decreasing number of outlets for quality fiction, each season's "young stars" find themselves praised regardless of the quality of their work—there's a common readership for Lahiri and Eggers, even though she's brilliant and he's anything but.
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