Diamond in my Palm – slated for release in November.
When a new novel comes up for release, one of the questions posed is: to what genre does it belong? This can be tricky.
I never set out to write my first novel, Diamond in my Palm in any particular genre, however the publisher classifies it as historical fiction.
This is indeed exciting because many of the classics we know (and novels that transcend the generation and gender barrier) belong to this genre. My favorite authors, Marquez and Eco have written books that are identified as historical fiction, and both have created nuanced variations within this genre.
For a novel to be deemed historical fiction, it need not be set in the past. It could well be set in the present, but against a historical backdrop, for example. Borges takes it a step further. His short story “Library of Babel” is set in the distant past but can also be imagined to be in the present and even the future. Such is the marvel of good (nay, great) writing.
Many writers have done historical fiction proud. Sir Walter Scott, Honoré de Balzac and James Finmore Cooper among them. But my own favorite is Alexandré Dumas. We read him at school, and we read him today. Cities like Marseilles owe a bit of their timeless charm to his Count of Monté Cristo and Paris of the second republic to his Three Musketeers.
Does a novel address only one genre at a time? In some cases, not.