Fall fiction week.

All about fiction.
Sept. 15 2005 9:58 AM

Fall Fiction Week

Slate's second annual look at the novel.

Illustration by Charlie Powell.
Click image to expand.

Welcome to Slate's second annual Fall Fiction Week. We'll be publishing reviews of new novels, revisiting a few classics, and writing about how we read fiction now. You can find an updated list of articles on this page each day. And don't forget that you can join the discussion in the Fray by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page.

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The week kicks off with an open letter from Stephen Metcalf to the Booker Prize committee. "Dear Booker Committee," he writes, "I wholeheartedly recommend that you deprive Zadie Smith's new novel, On Beauty, of your esteemed award." Christopher Hitchens speculates that Arthur Koestler's "milestone" anti-Stalinist novel Darkness at Noon may actually have had the curious effect of making its readers want to be Communists. And J.D. Connor celebrates E.L. Doctorow's new novel, The March: "The book may come in for some sniping because it doesn't cater to the maddeningly specific battlefield Baedeker approach," he writes. "You won't learn how to clean a rifle or make hardtack. But you will learn how people might grapple with the evanescence of 'the new way of living.' "

Later in the week, Alana Newhouse wonders why postfeminist readers still celebrate Herman Wouk's conservative novel Marjorie Morningstar. Meghan O'Rourke chronicles her summer of reading Faulkner with the Oprah Book Club. And, writing about book reviewing, Francine Prose asks a question that's been on all our minds: Why should plot—rather than style—seem so essential to any discussion of fiction? Enjoy!

Tuesday

"Dear Booker Committee: Is Zadie Smith really ready receive your esteemed prize?" by Stephen Metcalf, posted Sept. 13, 2005.

"Marching Orders: E. L. Doctorow and the problem of historical novels," by J.D. Connor, posted Sept. 13, 2005.

"Darkness at Noon: Arthur Koestler's milestone anti-Stalinist novel," by Christopher Hitchens, posted Sept. 13, 2005.

Wednesday

"The Plot Doesn't Thicken: Comparing J.M. Coetzee's Slow Man and Denton Welch's A Voice Through a Cloud," by Francine Prose, posted Sept. 14, 2005.

"Marjorie Morningstar: The conservative novel that liberal feminists love," by Alana Newhouse, posted Sept. 14, 2005.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.