Russell Banks on “The Great American Novel”

Novel Ideas

by Laura Ricks

In a telephone interview, Banks explained how the idea for his lecture came to him when he and many of America’s literary elite were invited by The New York Times to choose the best works of American fiction of the last 25 years. After the votes were tallied, the top 15 were compiled into a definitive list. He says the idea “implies a belief I want to examine: that there is such a thing as the Great American Novel. We’re unusual, Americans, in that there isn’t this belief in a great English novel, or a great French novel. There are many great novels, but there isn’t this idea that there is just one out there waiting to be written.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s