Tempest in the Harrogate Teapot (No vex please, we're British!)

Interesting piece by Stuart Evers in Guardian on the "unpardonably low literary status" of crime writing. Apparently there was a foot-in-mouth moment at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival last weekend when Booker Prize winner John Banville (aka crime writer Benjamin Black) accidentally dissed his own bad self:
Writing under his own name, Banville manages around 100 sweated-over, teased, honed and polished words a day; but as Benjamin Black, he can manage a couple of thousand. The intimation was quite clear, "Black's" sentences simply weren't as important. Perhaps realising what he'd unwittingly said, he tried to backtrack, but the damage was done and there was more fuel for his critics.

"He's slumming it," author Ruth Dudley Edwards said the following day. "He says he isn't, but he is."

Faster than you can say "tea cozy," Cartier Diamond Dagger recipient Reginald Hill offered this pragmatic response: "When I get up in the morning, I ask my wife whether I should write a Booker prize winning novel, or another bestselling crime book. And we always come down on the side of the crime book."

Click here for the whole story.


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