Monday, February 18, 2013

Social Capital

Matt Kavanagh reviews John Lanchester's British social novel CAPITAL in the Globe. The genre of social novel is one I have a particular interest in, and it's one whose relative lack in Canadian letters I comment on in an article that recently appeared in Canadian Notes and Queries. Canada has not produced many social novels about contemporary life, and it has certainly not produced any that can compete directly with the best of what has been published in the US or UK (the example I cite is THE CORRECTIONS). The issue here is not that there are no social novels in Canada, but that they either are about other cultures altogether (think of Mistry's oeuvre) or are not as deliberately ambitious as that published elsewhere.

Why does Canada not produce more social novels? Well, the question can be answered more easily if it is framed differently: the country is producing the novels ... it is just not publishing them.

(NB: For one response to CAPITAL -- both book and review -- read Kerry Clare's post.)

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