AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Mystery and Romance : The Market for Light Fiction Between the Wars
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'On both sides of the Atlantic, the years between the two world wars witnessed the consolidation of the crime fiction genre, especially "golden age" murder mysteries and detection puzzles, and also the rise of women's romance fiction as a distinct market segment, in Britain in the late 1920s and in the United States across the following decade. Although both forms had much older precedents, together they helped constitute the booming field of " light fiction" in the interwar years. Understood as distinct from the cheapest forms of pulp, light fiction was identified as a discrete field within the mainstream of commercial fiction publishing. This new awareness can be seen in the fact that uses of the term alight fiction" in the New York Times increased from twenty-six in the 1910s to fifty-six in the 1920s and in the 1930s, after which they tapered off again. Further, in January 1934, the Times began a special reviews section, "Fiction in Lighter Vein", where romance tides were reviewed by regulars such as Beatrice Sherman; and in the same period the Saturday Review of Literature launched "Over the Counter: the Saturday Review's Guide to Romance and Adventure", a weekly chart containing one-line reviews of romances, westerns and other popular genres. It matched the paper's similar guide to detective fiction, "The Criminal Record".'  (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Australian Books and Authors in the American Marketplace : 1840s-1940s David Carter , Roger Osborne , Sydney : Sydney University Press , 2018 14035789 2018 multi chapter work criticism biography

    'Australian Books and Authors in the American Marketplace 1840s—1940s explores how Australian writers and their works were present in the United States before the mid twentieth century to a much greater degree than previously acknowledged. Drawing on fresh archival research and combining the approaches of literary criticism, print culture studies and book history, David Carter and Roger Osborne demonstrate that Australian writing was transnational long before the contemporary period. In mapping Australian literature’s connections to British and US markets, their research challenges established understandings of national, imperial and world literatures.

    Carter and Osborne examine how Australian authors, editors and publishers engaged productively with their American counterparts, and how American readers and reviewers responded to Australian works. They consider the role played by British publishers and agents in taking Australian writing to America, and how the international circulation of new literary genres created new opportunities for novelists to move between markets.

    Some of these writers, such as Christina Stead and Patrick White, remain household names; others who once enjoyed international fame, such as Dale Collins and Alice Grant Rosman, have been largely forgotten. The story of their books in America reveals how culture, commerce and copyright law interacted to create both opportunities and obstacles for Australian writers.' (Source: Publisher's blurb)

    Sydney : Sydney University Press , 2018
    pg. 161-194
Last amended 19 Nov 2018 12:05:11
161-194 Mystery and Romance : The Market for Light Fiction Between the Warssmall AustLit logo
X