A cursory review of best selling novels over the last several decades might fill the writer of literary fiction with existential angst. Easily categorized genre novels abound, many of them churned out by a small set of regulars. Is this inevitable—the reading public's overwhelming preference for the formulaic, the familiar, the soon forgotten? What alchemy is involved when a book of high literary value becomes sufficiently popular to join its less gilded brethren at the top of the bestsellers lists? These questions are examined with the kind of succinct detail peculiar to the MFA student in the full throes of her critical thesis. Using such resources as the Psychology of Interest, a writer's keen eye, and the words of literary critics past and present, this little book examines how a novel of any calibre hooks readers, and how that same hook is often employed in works of high literary value. Unlike many such investigations, most of the successful works of literary fiction examined herein are contemporary, published within the last ten years. By design, they are all wildly popular. A 2016 Independent Publishers Book Award Winner, Tanya Coovadia, MFA, has studied writing with such talents as Michael Ondaatje, Ann Hood, Sandra Scofiled, Sterling Watson and Andre Dubus III. All were instrumental in the writing of this book. Her work has appeared in Sabal literary magazine. Although born in Manhattan and now based in Florida, Tanya was raised in various small towns in Ontario, Canada, including Pelee Island, where she spent many of her formative years.
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Tanya Coovadia was a lifelong cynic and hopeless romantic who suffered from borderline iconoclast disorder. She had been a store clerk, a waitress, a photographer, a technical writer and blogger, and at one particularly ignominious point in her career, a pheasant de-beaker. Raised a Jew, she married a former Muslim, thought like a Quaker, and brought up four children to be free thinkers. Their dog worshiped anyone who would bring forth food from the fridge. Originally from Canada, only to eventually bask in the sun of Florida, Tanya Coovadia, MFA, had studied writing with such talents as Michael Ondaatje, Ann Hood, Sandra Scofield, Sterling Watson and Andre Dubus III. Tanya Coovadia's "Pelee Island Stories" is a 2016 Independent Publishers Book Awards Winner and "Broach for a .38 Special" is a 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Finalist.
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