Genre Fiction Like Sci-Fi Has Clearest Social Critiques - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com:
"The literary novel, a 20th century invention, continues its critical dominance as the only “serious” fiction. But the literary novel has never been a place to look for social or political protest, and the writers who dealt in such matters — Dickens, Sinclair, Wells, Stowe, Zola, Orwell — were never considered “serious” writers in their own times.
Social and political issues can still be found in contemporary novels, from racism in the U.S., apartheid in South Africa and colonialism in many places to corruption and injustice everywhere. But, with a few notable exceptions, the more attention the author gives to the issue, the less literary the novel will be considered."
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