Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Your Shopping Basket
Total number of items: 0
Sub total: £0.00
Go to Checkout
Our Birmingham Shop
Our Bristol Shop
Animators Survival Kit

Literature 'needs to look at office work'

15th March 2010

Writers need to start covering the everyday lives of the men and women stuck working in offices, a literary commentator has suggested.

Jennifer Schuessler, an editor of the New York Times' book review section, pointed out that 19th and early 20th century novels such as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle were not afraid to revolve around work, but believes this trend has become rare of late.

'With the arrival of postwar prosperity, the literature of working-class struggle gave way to the literature of middle-class disillusion … It's a theme the literary novel hasn't been able to shake,' she claimed.

Schuessler admitted that 'powerful fiction' can be created from blue-collar misery, citing the works of Raymond Carver and Russell Banks as examples, but said few authors are focusing on the unique hardships of office life.

The commentator called on writers to start including the minutiae of office work in their novels and craft plots which have modern employment issues at their core, rather than using jobs as a minor part of characters' back stories.

Last month, Anthropology author Dan Rhodes told the Independent that he likes to take jobs outside of the literary world, as he cannot see himself teaching creative writing to others to make a living.

Latest Blog
Richard Aronowitz on the darkness lurking in his past and its connection to his role as a Nazi loot-hunter at the auction house, Sothebys
25/05/2017

Richard talks about the darkness lurking in his past and its connection to his role as a Nazi loot-hunter at the auction house, Sothebys.

Finding Awe in the Extremes
25/05/2017

Brian describes how his ambivalence at having served in the Iraq war, and the awe to be found in extremes, provided the basis for his novel.

On National Brothers Day, Stuart Heritage Reflects on his Relationship with his Brother, Pete
24/05/2017

On National Brothers Day, Stuart Heritage reflects on fraternal dynamics, how he came to write about the 'whirlwind of aggressive single-mindedness' that is his brother Pete and how their relationship is reflected by that of brothers everywhere.

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd