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

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Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

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