Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sorry dear, I don't read fiction

The other day I met a lady who had been a professor of journalism at a prestigious Ivy League University. She knew I was an author, so we struck up a conversation. Her first question to me was, “My dear, what is it that you write?” To which I replied, “Fantasy fiction.” Her face contorted a bit before she replied, “Oh, I don’t read fiction. It doesn’t capture my imagination.”

I was dumbfounded, and I must confess, I found her statement to be a bit oxymoronic for what is fiction, especially fantasy, except the outpouring of someone’s imagination. As the conversation progressed she admitted she only read news articles, biographies and the like. I cannot comprehend spending a life without Tolkien or Shelley or Kenyon or the myriad of other fiction writers that have come before.

Finally, our conversation came to close and we exchanged the normal pleasantries. She told me that she was sure my book was rather wonderful, and she was sorry she would never get to read it. Since, as she stated multiple times, she did not read fiction. I wanted to tell her that I was sorry too. Not because she would never read my book, but because she had never read anything she considered to be fiction, and at the age of 81, she probably never would.

1 comment:

  1. I feel sorry for people like that. They always seem so gleeful, too, when they tell fiction writers that.

    As I've gotten older, I've begun thinking about responding to these people with "Oh no! I'm so sorry your imagination got stunted like that. How horrible for you."

    But then I'm just getting cantankerous in my old age.