On literary bookjacket copy

by look i have opinions

“The jacket copy on literary novels is always incredibly dull (genre writers would say that this is because literary fiction is inherently dull, but I disagree with that). I think it’s because literary jacket copy always tries to convey the experience of reading a book, even though that’s an inherently unexplainable thing. Whereas genre jacket copy just tries to convince you to read the damn thing. The jacket copy on a literary novel is like your college professor telling you why the book is important, whereas the jacket copy on a genre novel is like your best friend telling you why the book is fucking awesome.”

—Rahul Kanakia (x)

Yeah, I feel like literary fiction shouldn’t have that kind of copy at all. Just quotes from the work itself (assuming it’s the kind of thing that can be quoted effectively) and blurbs that make it sound awesome in a literary way.

I would have a hard time explaining why Swann’s Way is awesome, but if you put an excerpt about Marcel’s childhood clinginess, or his madeleines, that would be explanation enough.