Otto on Opal

Portland author Whitney Otto contributes an op-ed to the NY Times on the Opal Mehta scandal:

THE beach book, the novel that we take with us on a languorous summer vacation, when we demand that reading be a pleasure and not a chore, the one “serious” readers apologize for even though they shouldn’t, is known more formally as genre fiction. The thing that makes genre fiction so appealing is the exact same thing that can make it such a bore: it’s predictable. If the recent rash of novels classified as chick lit were laid end to end, you would have the literary equivalent of a tract-house development.

Sure, some of the houses are beige and others are cream, but they all have the same two-car garage, great room and marble counters in the kitchen. That’s why people buy them.