Lena Dunham versus Jane Austen in the “New Adult” Smackdown

Here goes the idiotic “publishing thing” again. A marketing demographic – in this case, young people from the ages of 18 – 22 – is being hijacked as a “genre” for fiction. They call it “new Adult.” If that doesn’t make you, presumably an adult, run and woof into a trash can, I don’t know what will.

Publisher’s Weekly even had a podcast, or something. Young editors, not conversant in how the internet works or in fact their own competition – crowed about this new genre that would step in where chick lit failed.

Here are the words I have for “new Adult” aficionados and the editors and writers who fall for this malarky. You have some shoes to fill:

1. Jane Austen
2. Mark Twain (remember Huck Finn? You read it? In school, maybe?)
3. F Scott Fitzgerald (lyrics by Jay-Z)
4. Charlotte Bronte
5. William Faulkner (Quentin wasn’t very old, kids)
6. Dostoyevsky (You best get off that toilet and write, Lena!)
7. Carson McCullers

“New adult” is a selling term that I should never have heard of. It’s a term that tells you what website to promote a book on.

Do NOT turn your talented authors into writers churning out text for a marketing term. You put them in a ghetto where those who define themselves as “adult” will never find them. For shame.

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