During the first quarter century of my life, reading novels was an important component of my intellectual growth. I devoured novels from not only America, but France, Germany, England, Russia, Italy, Japan and a host of other areas. Novels offered me insights into the human condition and enabled my mind to think and feel emotions from various cultures and times. There were giants in the land–Camus, Sartre, Hemingway, Wolfe, Mailer, Silone, and dozens of others who explored the human psyche and entered into the total breadth of the human experience. Lee Siegel, writing in The New York Observer, argues “for about a million reasons, fiction has now become a museum-place genre and for better or worse, the greatest storytellers of our time are non-fiction writers.”
I regret to agree with Mr. Siegel. We have come a long way in writing from great Russian writers when we now hold up Stephen King as a master storyteller. Sorry, Harry Potter is a wonderful series for youth, but when compared to Albert Camus…..