A guest post by Claude Nougat
Never heard of Boomer lit? It all began at the end of last year. On 5 December 2012, Boomer Café published an article predicting that Boomer Lit would be The Next Big Genre aimed at boomers – all 77.5 million of them in the US alone, many more if you counted in the rest of the world. The article was picked up by major, highly trafficked websites like The Passive Voice and Gawker Media, and within a week, it went viral. Sure, some people were unhappy at the idea of having to deal with yet another genre and leery of what they saw as books focused on old age. For them, the stigma attached to aging was hard to shake off, but for most people, it wasn’t. They latched onto the new genre with glee, defining themselves as “mutinous boomers”, punchy and dynamic, displaying the rebellious spirit of their teen years.
Suddenly, retirees had become fun, even sexy, their view on life full of a new, fresh wisdom. Boomers were going to change the way people grapple with aging and Boomer lit was going to be the vehicle of choice to express this.
On Goodreads, a group was created to discuss Boomer lit, together with its own Facebook page and Twitter account. Within three months, it had some 240 members and 70 boomer book titles on its bookshelf. As a way to explore boomer lit, it began reading and discussing one boomer book a month, democratically selected through a poll, starting with Claude Nougat’s A Hook in the Sky.
As a result, the group has already done some important work clarifying what exactly Boomer literature is and is not. Boomer lit is not about nostalgia and evoking the past. Like YA lit focused on the first transition to adulthood, Boomer lit is about the next big transition as boomers enter their Third Act in life. Forty years ago, boomers were in their teens and wanted to read YA lit. Now they want to read books that will show them how to address this new stage in their lives, featuring characters they can identify with.
The genre is selling and was selling even before it had a name and was recognized as such. For example, Louis Begley’s About Schmidt series was a best seller and inspired a hilarious film that quickly became a box office hit in 2002, starring an unforgettable Jack Nicholson. Or consider Deborah Moggach’s These Foolish Things published in 2004, a delightful comedy about a bunch of British retirees on a romp in India that became a box office hit in 2012 with a new title, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. More recently, Rachel Joyce’s debut novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry made waves and was long-listed for the 2012 Man Booker Prize.
The emergence of this new genre is easily explained by changing demographics: boomers are now hitting retirement at the rate of 3.5 million per year, that’s 10,000 per day. Both Hollywood and the marketing industry have taken note. And the Internet accelerates such changes: a few years ago, the appearance of a novel like Rachel Joyce’s might have passed unnoticed; today, thanks to the digital revolution, it resonates with masses of readers and writers: on Amazon it has earned over 550 customer reviews and on Goodreads an amazing 13,568 ratings and 3,260 reviews.
Enough to make any debut author dream…
For more information about Boomer Lit: http://claudenougat.blogspot.it/p/blog-page.html
To visit the Goodreads Group discussing Boomer Lit: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/81261
Claude Nougat is a writer, economist, painter, poet and cook. Columbia U. graduate, veteran UN expert, Claude ended her career as FAO Director for Europe and Central Asia.
novels: A Hook in the Sky and 3 books in a New Adult series, The
two collections of short stories: Death on Facebook and Twisted; poems published in poetry anthology Freeze Frame, edited by British poet Oscar Sparrow (publisher: Gallo Romano Media)
All available on Amazon.
Painter: Participated in 12 group shows in France and Italy; two one-man shows (in Paris and Rome); Member of Artistes Indépendants (Paris)
Blogger and founder of a Goodreads Group discussing Boomer literature
She is married and lives in Italy.
Link to A HOOK IN THE SKY : http://www.amazon.com/Hook-Sky-ebook/dp/B0098MFGNM
Claude Nougat’s BLOG: http://claudenougat.blogspot.com
Connect with her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClaudeNougatAuthor and TWITTER : @claudenougat
In : Guest Posts
Tags: boomer lit books authors novels baby boomers
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