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.

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.

Thursday

"Reading Faulkner With Oprah: It's underrated," by Meghan O'Rourke, posted Sept. 15, 2005.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

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

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  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.