“Pretentious Literary Fiction” To Get New Section in Bookstores

This morning, booksellers finally figured out what to do about the massive influx of pretentious literary fiction that has taken over the “Fiction” section in bookstores. Starting next month, “Pretentious Literary Fiction” will get its own section in bookstores, in an effort to hinder confusion for today’s customers. Nearly all books published by Ecco would be part of this new reorganization.

“It was really getting out of control,” said Thelma Rhustein, manager of a Barnes & Noble in Peroia, Illinois. “These New York people actually believed that these mutant books were fiction, and tried to ram them into our stacks.”

Of course, there is only so much space. Since other genres — such as science fiction, mystery, YA, comics, chick lit, and romance — have become less pretentious and are now more acceptable to the reading public, the elaborate plan calls for these genres to be integrated into the main Fiction section.

Many newspaper book review sections have begun adjusting their sections accordingly. Now that “pretentious literary fiction” is a lesser genre, many plan to begin ghettoizing “pretentious literary fiction” to capsule reviews while moving previously little-regarded genres up to full-length reviews.

“It’s purely a business decision,” said a spokesman for Tribune Newspapers.

Ecco spokesman Michael McKenzie could not be reached for comment. He was reportedly too busy playing an addictive Flash game. But he did pledge to a co-worker that he would cut down on his pedicures in an effort to figure out what it was that average people found pleasurable about books.

Psychiatrists have also been enlisted to make many pretentious literary fiction publishers less douchey.


  1. Complaining that fiction is dead is unoriginal, asinine, banal, and inane. Fiction is like energy. It doesn’t die — it changes forms. It always has. When people complain that it’s dead, they are really expressing that they can’t find something to be interested in. So quit whining and start exploring.

  2. is this one of those perennial death of the novel discussions? I thought that it was a pretty good idea to have a section for pretentious literary fiction. I’m lucky in that I have this friend Winnie who updates me on the latest outpourings of pretentios prose, whether Ecco clones or the political versions, like Ignatieff and his “torture lite” stuff ground out in his Garden Street manse off Harvard Square.
    Fiction faces a lot competition these days. If you want fiction now, all you have to do is turn on the nightly news. Most fiction writers now work for big p.r. firms like Hill and Knowlton and their job is to sell wars and occupations.
    That leaves a contemporary writer in a bit of a bind. I feel that the main problem is that “reality” has long since surpassed fiction. Everything some simple scribe can cook up in his imagination is already being acted out somewhere. So, I like to call my writing, “faction”.
    It’s a bit like jazz. After the sixties and the Brit rock invasion and the rise of the rock juggernaut, jazz musicians were forced to move to Europe or become domesticated and embalmed in academia. The same could be said for fiction writers being popped out of creative writing courses like so many IPods from Mexican maquiladoras. My humble advice-fiction writers, get real!

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