For the first time ever, a crime novel has won the Miles Franklin Award. Peter Temple’s book Truth beat shortlisted novels by Brian Castro and Alex Miller (two-time winner). I’m only mildly interested as I don’t read crime novels and I think literary prizes are only the roughest of rough guides as to what we should read. Their primary function I think is to generate discussion.
So on the subject of crime novels (leaving aside the more vexed question of whether they count as literature), is anybody else worried by the marketshare they seem to have? At bookshops the crime section seems to be at least half again of the entire fiction section. What does it say about us as a culture if that’s what we mostly read?