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The Mainstreaming of Historical Fiction

Historical fiction is suddenly everywhere. It’s on the bestseller list, in college classrooms, and probably on the lap of the woman sitting next to you on the train. A genre that at one point felt maligned and boring—neither serious nor sought after—has undergone a full-on transformation. In just the past few months, some of the most anticipated new releases by contemporary literature’s most beloved authors have been historical, including Lauren Groff’s The Vaster Wilds, Zadie Smith’s The Fraud, James McBride’s The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, and Jesmyn Ward’s Let Us Descend. Read more

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