To Kill How They Make You Hate Fiction

To Kill How They Make You Hate Fiction

So sure enough the ‘sequel’ to “To Kill a Mockingbird” comes out and everyone and their mother is excited.
I’m not and mainly because I hated “To Kill a Mockingbird” as a kid.

I was made to read it which I always resented. This was Literature. Old and from somewhere I don’t like or was otherwise interested in. It was to me long dead, hoisted on my punk rock and heavy metal addled and wearily slumped shoulders by an English Lit teacher. It was about the South which we northern Yankee types were surreptitiously taught to look down on as an uncouth wasteland of hills, swamps, Klansmen, inbreeding and people who talked really slow. But the academic gun was held to our pubescent heads and we were going to appreciate it no matter how painful ploughing through the pages was for our own good.

This is how much of the world for the past 100 or so years has experienced fiction.

They’ve experienced it as an old, distant, inappropriate to your life thing you’re supposed to revere and hold close to your heart two decades later when it doesn’t much matter. I didn’t like the fact that I was supposed to like that.

It doesn’t really have to be like this but I write fiction so have done a damn lot of thinking about how to try and redesign reading so you can dip in as far as you want and hopefully the story will draw you in over your head.