Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Eight Reviews of Popular Fiction

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Eight Reviews of Popular Fiction

Article excerpt

In this issue, I am diverging from my standard review process by reviewing a number of books that I am currently researching for a new academic book with McFarland, Formulaic Writing within Genres, instead of soliciting publishers to send books to academics that request specific books from them for review. In the 19th century few publishers sent their books to journals for free, and a higher percentage of reviews were negative rather than positive. I've come to think that this review method is more helpful to the reading public than false-positive reviews that appease publishers. For my Ph.D. dissertation I researched 19th century British literature because aside from a few exceptions, such as pre-2004 Anne Rice and J. K. Rowling, there was no readable popular fiction available. But, after I finished studying the rebellion novels of Britain's 19th century, I realized that my annoyance with recent popular fiction was because of its repetitively formulaic nature, and that I could study these patterns, as I'm doing in my new scholarly book. …

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