“GENRE IS NOT A FOUR-LETTER WORD” by LOU BERNEY
A lot of people, smart people, look down their noses at genre fiction. They consider it, at best, a guilty pleasure, without the potential for any of the transformative artistic value of “real” literature. In this talk Berney going to argue that those people are woefully misguided, and that you shouldn’t judge a book by the presence of a detective, or a spaceship, or a dwarf with a sword. We’ll discuss how, for a writer, the formulas and conventions of genre fiction can liberate rather than constrain, and how, for the reader, the best genre fiction can both satisfy expectations and explode them.
LOU BERNEY is the author of the novels Gutshot Straight and Whiplash River. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The New England Review, the Pushcart Prize Anthology and elsewhere. He has written feature screenplays and created TV pilots for, among others, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Focus Features, ABC and Fox. Currently he teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Oklahoma City University.
MFA Program Manager