Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The middle class sensibility

I thought I'd draw attention to the reality that publishing panders to many middle class sensibilities in that the vast majority of Literary agents and editors are middle to upper middle class, and as they control the gateways to most of our contemporary fiction, they are somewhat disdainfail of working class lives characters in fiction today.

Here's what Helen Walsh, author of GO TO SLEEP, published by Canongate, has to say about it.

'Prior to writing, I worked in a literary agency in London, and I was acutley and horribly aware of the prejudice against working class lives and characters in contemporary fiction. The 'taste-setters' the agents, junior agents and readers who are the first port of call for manuscripts - are largely upper middle class, as are most of the editors working in British publishing today. This raises many questions then about the non-varied and class dimensional reading of manuscripts and the extent to which such readings reflect and pander to an upprer middle class sensibility.'

I take my hat off to her.

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