“Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in 10 years is a sad, remarkable fantasy set after King Arthur’s death.”
And it features scenes like:
Here, in no special order of importance or chronology, are some things that happen in Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel: An old man uses a hoe to fight off thousands of pixies who have attacked his wife as she floats down a river in a basket; an enchanted mist envelops a country, causing an entire people to forget its past; an ogre is found in a ditch, gravely indisposed, having killed and partially eaten a poisoned goat; an ancient widow prosecutes a grievance with a mysterious boatman by methodically slitting the throats of rabbits and spilling their blood on the floor of his childhood home; a past-his-Green-Knight-beheading-prime Sir Gawain faces off against a hell-dog in an underground chamber.
Of course no matter the quality if someone who’d started out writing fan-fic or in the pulp paperback ghetto had written the exact same thing it would have been relegated to the fantasy bin and never spoken of in polite company again.
I always laugh when incidents like this occur; some “important” author writes fantasy or sf — usually poorly and behind the leading wave of the genre by 25 years — and is praised for it, meanwhile actual genre authors are writing better, more nuanced work that is never considered other than to laugh at.
I don’t much care for the literary establishment. Luckily, it is much-diminished in importance (and they hate that).
Novels only don’t have a genre (as this Slate tripe claims) when the literary mandarins want to re-heat something that has been old hat for a few decades and present it as something unstained by those genre ties.
Pretty disgusting if you ask me.