Writers attack ‘overrated’ Anglo-American literature at Jaipur festival


Xiaolu Guo warns that English-language mainstream has warped a broader ‘reading habit’, on panel with Jhumpa Lahiri and Jonathan Franzen: The Guardian

Xiaolu GuoAmerican literature is “massively overrated”, the award-winning author and film-maker Xiaolu Guo told the Jaipur literature festival – and fellow panellist and US novelist Jonathan Franzen – this weekend.

A session on the global novel in Jaipur on Saturday saw the Chinese/British writer Guo, one of Granta’s best of young British novelists who has also been shortlisted for the Orange prize, attack the way “our reading habit has totally been transformed by the mainstream”.

“Our reading habit has been stolen and changed” said Guo. “For example I think Asian literature is much less narrative … but our reading habit is more Anglo-Saxon, more American … Nowadays all this narrative [literature is] very similar, it’s so realism, so story-telling driven … so all the poetry, all the alternative things, have been pushed away by mainstream society.”

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