Why Housepets Are Not a Good Subject for a BookWritten by Catherine Rankovic
Housepets are not a good subject for fiction, either. We love them but they say nothing, do little and mostly go nowhere, and that doesn’t make for enjoyable fiction. Fiction narrated by a pet is old-old news. Think Black Beauty (1877).
Famous writers have published books about housepets. Virginia Woolf wrote Flush. I haven't read it. May Sarton wrote The Fur Person (a cat). Some people love it; there's even a gift edition. I haven't read it. Same with Doris Lessing's On Cats. I'm inclined to read about people, and then maybe animals other than housepets, as in Call of the Wild, Giraffe, and Watership Down. Readers are still recommending Watership Down, a misleading title for a novel about a colony of wild rabbits, published in 1972. I heard it recommended just yesterday. I have even read Will I See Fido in Heaven?, a work of nonfiction. (BTW, the answer, just as I had hoped, is "Yes.")
Having had pets I know how dear they are, and their lives have a few dramatic moments, but a reader is thinking, “What’s in this for me?” The author bursting to tell a pet story should write it, but for a readership, prepare to deliver a story never before told.
Writer, with 30+ years' writing and publishing experience, 20+ years' teaching experience. Last book read: Mrs. Lincoln by Catherine Clinton.
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Wednesday, 13 July 2011 21:03
posted by Julia
My sleepy eyes first read your title as "houseplants" and I thought: my God! Who would write about that? Ha ha.
Yeah, as much as I love my cats, blogging will have to suffice. They'll get their own paper pages when they start writing about me.
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