Sunday, June 10, 2012

An Ode to Robert Harris
8 works of fiction, 5 works of non-fiction

You won't find Robert Harris sitting in that deadly of all sections known as Literary Fiction, at least not in America. If his books show up anywhere, it's either in the category of General Fiction or that risky sub-genre known as "Thriller". You can find him in the airports and pharmacies if not proudly displayed on the bestseller's table at your local book emporium. For this reason, highbrow literary know-it-alls generally refer to him as their guilty pleasure - you won't find The Fear Index at your local book club, where everyone is going gaga over the sequel to Wolf Hall. And you probably won't find some English grad student doing a thesis about the function of metaphor in FatherlandBut this is one highbrow literary know-it-all who's stepping out of the closet. I'm making this plea to book clubs and grad students everywhere: Robert Harris is a pleasure and there's no need to feel any guilt.