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Granta Picks Cowley as Editor; More on “Young Americans” issue

The Bookseller reported yesterday that Granta has appointed Jason Cowley as the editor of its magazine, replacing Ian Jack, the magazine’s editor since 1995. Cowley, editor of Observer Sport Monthly, former literary editor of New Statesman and a long-time contributing editor for Prospect, will join Granta in September. “My challenge is to ensure that it plays a major role in the culture at large while continuing to publish writing of the highest distinction and introducing new voices,” Cowley said.

Meanwhile, Granta issue 97 – aka the “Best of Young American Novelists” issue – got even more attention over the weekend courtesy the LA Times’ Scott Timberg and the Guardian’s Ed Pilkington. In Timberg’s piece, the focus is on the list’s ethnic diversity but its class homogenaiety. “In America all class analysis is forbidden,” judge Edmund White wrote in his assessment. “It’s as if the conflict and alienation offered in, say, the British novel by encounters with members of other, lower social classes are replaced in America by contrasts of First and Third World cultures.” Well actually, we beg to differ, but then one could argue the so-called homogenaiety is entirely due to looking at the genre of books called literary fiction and not reaching out to crime fiction (where the social novel has migrated) or science fiction and fantasy or graphic novels, where a great many exciting novelists ages 35 or under are paying their dues….

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