Barbara Rogan’s most recent offering, A DANGEROUS FICTION (Viking), is one of my favorite types of fiction–a coupling of literary and mysterious. The novel follows Jo Donovan, head of a prestigious New York literary agency and the widow of a renowned author. When a would-be client starts stalking Jo, she has to delve into the stories of real life that she’s carefully edited—or face the consequences.
Barbara Rogan and I sat down to talk more about the book.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how genre-bending A DANGEROUS FICTION is. Do you think genre taxonomy is important when it comes to publishing, and where does your book fit in that ecosystem?
“Genre” started out as publishing shorthand intended for the convenience of booksellers and reviewers, and I think its usefulness stops there. I don’t think of literary fiction as a category separate from other genres. My own books have been classified as literary fiction, women’s fiction, and mystery. Those deemed “literary fiction” are no better written than the others. I really don’t buy the whole dichotomy between literature and popular fiction. I see writing more as a continuum calibrated, not by genre, but by the quality of the writing.