Friday, August 13, 2010

Faith and Fiction Saturday: The Problem of Labels

Faith and Fiction Saturday is a weekly discussion of the intersection of faith and fiction. You can participate by leaving a response in comments or writing a post on your own blog and leaving your link in comments.

Last weekend, I went to a retreat focused on faith and Story and it was fabulous. I couldn't help but notice that once again, however, when I talked to people they had an automatic aversion to Christian fiction.

I started the Inspys in response to this idea that all Christian fiction is rubbish (and also all general market fiction) but I'm trying to figure out how in daily interaction I can react against this. What's hard about this is that the Christian fiction I love is generally deeply about faith, without being didactic. Therefore, it's still very much for people interested in issues of faith, without offering all the answers. Additionally, I often feel the need put a disclaimer on the fact that I enjoy Christian fiction. I can almost imagine that images of Janette Oke begin to dance in their heads when I say this.

Furthermore, I really identified with my friend Sandy's post of You've GOTTA Read This about labeling books. The second I say a book is Christian fiction, I know at least half of my blog audience shuts down. I'm really sensing this struggle against genre classification lately, because I want to do the very best I can for books, yet, these labels really make things so much easier. I'm not sure how or when to introduce the label.

So I guess I'm working out how to explain I love faith driven fiction, sometimes published by Christian publishing houses, sometimes not, and how to convince others that some Christian fiction is worth reading.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this...


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