I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information including RA for All's EDI Statement.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Is Suite Francaise Historical Fiction? Depends on Who's Asking.

When writing about my book discussion group's meeting on Nemirovisky's book, I forgot to talk about our discussion of historical fiction.

For the record, Suite Francaise is not historical fiction because Nemirovsky was not writing about the past, she was writing contemporary fiction both during and about the 1940s; it was simply not published until recently.

For you librarians, historical fiction is defined as a novel written about a time before the author's birth. So Pride and Prejudice is not historical fiction since Austen was writing about her own time, but the novels of Bernard Cornwell are.

That being said, if our patrons come up talking about how they love historical fiction and you ask what they have read recently and enjoyed and they say, "Suite Francaise," this is not the time for you to correct them. To that reader (to many in fact), Suite Francaise is historical fiction simply because it is about the past and is realistic. Go with their lead and find that reader novels set in the past (whether true historical fiction or not) that would fit with their overall reading tastes.

For specific historical fiction resources to help you help your patrons, click here. For things I have tagged histoical fiction, click here.

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