’20 Under 40:’ Celebration of the future, or lit’s last gasp?
In reaction to The New Yorker‘s “20 under 40” issue of young writers to watch, The Millions has issued its own list of 20 under 40, without duplicating a single name. The question in my mind, though: What could possess a gifted young person to cast his or her lot with a dying art form?
By “dying art form,” I don’t mean the short story, which has been dying for about 100 years now, though like Doc Holliday, keeps rising from its death bed to periodically kick ass. No, I mean prose fiction in general. Don’t these young people know that no one reads any more?
My friend and colleague Connie Ogle, book critic at the Miami Herald (Look Ma! A newspaper that still produces its own book reviews!), chooses a glass-half-full view. Between The New Yorker and The Millions, she says, we’re reminded “that there are tons of promising young writers out there. Whew. Good to remember.”