In January, in a piece about HBO's television series "Girls," and specifically, responding to the backlash surrounding the show's lack of diversity, senior editor of The Atlantic
, Ta-Nehisi Coates, wrote, "The problem isn't the Lena Dunham show is about a narrow world. The problem is that there aren't more narrow worlds on screen. Broader is not synonymous with better."
I agree with this, and say it also applies to fiction. For me, total immersion in a "narrow" world makes for the most pleasurably intense reading. The writers that do it right are able to pull back the curtain on a milieu (a place, an era, a profession) that's foreign to a reader, while creating characters so finely tuned and fully fleshed that they're easily recognizable, if not relatable. The very best
relatable. Jim Gavin's Middle Men
Beyond the Book
In "Illuminati," one of the stories in Jim Gavin's short story collection, college dropout and writer, Sean, describes the experience of selling his first and only script. "Two years ago, all my dumb ideas and tenuous connections came together. I sold a screenplay to a finance company that was developing a project for a pair of comedians…Then nothing happened. The finance company dissolved, the production company lost their studio deal, and so forth. Nothing always happens. The literature of Hollywood is depressingly consistent on this point."
Turns out that's pretty accurate. Though different writers have taken it from different approaches, disparate perspectives and more than one distinct genre, the small but formidable canon of Hollywood novels seem to agree on this...