A Wicked Kind of Dark – what is literary fantasy? Jonathan K Benton

Madur-woodI think the best explanation I’ve found for the genre in which my writing sits goes something like this: Books that are written to entertain with words as much as plot. Books like Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, Christopher Priest’s The Glamour, and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

Most YA books – and I read a lot of them – are not literary (in the genre sense only). This doesn’t mean they are not brilliant and clever. They are. I loved The Hunger Games, absolutely adored it. But my classically influenced style lends itself towards literary fantasy. I was invited to participate in the ‘Books that changed me’ column in The Sun Herald. The column shows how I arrived at this amazing genre.