2015 Festival Schedule

12:30 PM — 1:30 PM Sunday

12 PM Sunday

Don't Fence Me In: Genre-Bending Fiction

Location: House Chamber
Charles Yu
Thomas Mullen
Erin Morgenstern
Lev Grossman

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12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

In 2009, noted science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin took Margaret Atwood to task, believing that Atwood shunned being labeled a science fiction writer because she didn't "want the literary bigots to shove her into the literary ghetto," as Le Guin called it, the place where science fiction, zombie novels, thrillers, fantasy, and mysteries live. A place where literary fiction thrives is not, presumably, a ghetto. Or is it?

A number of the 2011 Festival's literary writers (besides the ones appearing in this session) are moving outside the confines of literary fiction by crafting narratives with complex characters and lyrical language but with plots that are more accurately called science fiction, fantasy, or thrillers (check out Colson Whitehead, Russell Banks, and Hillary Jordan's novels, for starters). Join us at this session for a conversation with Lev Grossman, Erin Morgenstern, Thomas Mullen, and Charles Yu, four imaginative, restless writers whose new novels are literary fiction, while stepping outside that realm to engage readers.

Moderator Tim O’Connell is an Associate Editor in the Vintage and Anchor Books divisions of the Knopf Doubleday Group, Random House, Inc. His authors include National Book Award winner Jaimy Gordon, Charles Yu, Tao Lin, Lee Sandlin, and Jake Adelstein. He received an MFA in poetry from Texas State University-San Marcos. In his previous life he was a sushi chef at Kyoto in downtown Austin. Presently, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.