Saturday, November 16, 2013

Alissa Nutting

Alissa Nutting's Tampa is a story of a predatory female teacher and more than one of her not unwilling underage students.

From her Q & A with Daniel D'Addario at Salon:

I’ve seen this book compared to “Fifty Shades of Grey” on its GoodReads page. Given that E.L. James’ novel is about two adults, does that bother you?

[laughs at some length] Yeah … I understand the comparison based on extremity. I think that “Fifty Shades of Grey” is probably one of the first contemporary mainstream infusions of literature with a great deal of sexuality included in it. And I understand the fact that that’s a female author writing a sexually explicit book, which also isn’t awfully common — that’s kind of where my understanding of the comparison leaves off. In this book Celeste is a predator. The relationship by law cannot be consensual.

But it also suggests that “Tampa” is being kind of marginalized into the pile of books for women exclusively, rather than “important” novels — which are usually by men.

Absolutely. I think that that does happen. Realistically, unfortunately, I think that really blatant sexuality and works that feature humor or comedy, all of these things are traditionally written off as being lowbrow. There’s a notion that really grand novels, the novels that are going to win the big awards, need to be dark, dramatic, serious, sweeping and tasteful. There are these rigid boundaries, and when you cross over them — if you get too sexually explicit, if it’s too humorous or satirical — you fall out of the mainstream literary sweet spot. There are some people who...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Alissa Nutting's website.

--Marshal Zeringue