Here’s what literary fiction looks like.

Here’s what literary fiction looks like. These examples are from The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy.

. . . she would reveal to us in her storytelling voice that salmon dreamed of mountain passes and the brown faces of grizzlies hovering over clear rapids. Copperheads, she would say, dreamed of placing their fangs in the shinbones of hunters. Ospreys slept with their feathered, plummeting dreamselves screaming through deep, slow-motion dives toward herring.  (p.2)

When have you ever seen such imagery, such transformative imaginings? A little further down the same page, Conroy continues to describe his mother’s mind.

  Each day she would take us into the forest or garden and invent a name for any animal or flower we passed. A monarch butterfly became an “orchid-kissing blacklegs”; a field of daffodils in April turned into a “dance of the butter ladies bonneted.”

I’m sure a thorough discussion of the literary genre would bring up other qualities, but the fine use of language is certainly one of its hallmarks.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but the depth of characterization has yielded characters I will remember always.  So I do admire this book and this author, yet I still relish a good romance or mystery or historical. And fresh imagery pops up in those genres, too, though I don’t think anyone can top these few examples from The Prince of Tides.

Gretchen’s latest historical, Crimson Sky, is set among the pueblos of 1598 when the Spanish Conquistadors came into the land.  Latest historical, Crimson Sky, set in 1598 when the Spanish Conquistadors came into the land of the pueblos.

About glcraig

Gretchen Craig’s lush, sweeping tales deliver edgy, compelling characters who test the boundaries of integrity, strength, and love. Told with sensitivity, the novels realistically portray the raw suffering of people in times of great upheaval. Gretchen was born and raised in Florida. She’s lived in climates and terrain as diverse as the white beaches of the Gulf Coast, the rocky shores of Maine, and the dusty plains of Texas. Her awareness of place imbues every page with the smell of the bayous of Louisiana, the taste of gumbo in New Orleans, or the grit of a desert storm. Rich in compelling characters and historical detail, Always and Forever is a sweeping saga of Josie and Cleo, mistress and slave. Amid Cajuns and Creoles, the bonds between these two remarkable women are tested by prejudice, tragedy, and passion for one extraordinary man. Gretchen’s first novel won the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence for Mainstream with Romantic Elements and was chosen as an Editor’s Pick in the Historical Novel Society reviews. Ever My Love, winner of the Booksellers Best Award from the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America, continues the story of Cleo and Josie’s families, of their struggle for principle, justice, and love in a world where the underpinnings of the plantation culture are crumbling. Crimson Sky, inspired by the pueblos, mountains, and deserts of New Mexico, evokes the lives of people facing neighboring marauders and drought. Now the march of Spanish Conquistadors up the Rio Grande threatens their homeland, their culture, and their entire belief system.
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1 Response to Here’s what literary fiction looks like.

  1. glcraig says:

    Thanks so much for reading my blog. Sorry I’ve been so long in replying. We’ve been moving across country. See you next time.

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