Friday, June 25, 2010

And the walls come a'tumblin' down....

A crime novel -- not a literary novel in the form of a crime novel but a real genre novel -- has won the Australian equivalent of the Booker. The Guardian, which roots for genre fiction as openly as it roots for leftist politics, rejoices in the victory of "Truth" by Peter Temple, quoting one of the prize judges:

For Morag Fraser, a Miles Franklin judge for the past six years, it is simply a question of quality. "Most crime novels that I have read (and I read one a week, often more) will never win the Miles Franklin or any other 'literary' prize because they do not work language hard enough, and they do not think originally and with sufficient depth and imagination," she said. "They may gratify but they do not surprise the way great literature does."

"In the case of Peter Temple's Truth, the divide was so comprehensively crossed that we did not think much about the conventions of crime fiction except to note that Temple was able to observe them rather as a poet observes the 14-line convention of the sonnet or a musician the sonata form: as a useful disciplinary structure from which to expand, bend or depart."

4 comments:

Generic said...

Warrents a stop at the Mystery Bookshop on the way home.

Tulkinghorn said...

Keep in touch and let us know...

Generic said...

No Peter Temple at The Mystery Bookstore -- they hadn't even heard of him, dropping a notch in my estimation. (M&I came up empty, also, at least online.)

Generic said...

See also: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/truth-and-fiction-20100623-yyzt.html