10/26/14 — WAR AND PEACE IS NOT A HISTORICAL NOVE — OR IS IT?
I have been thinking about what a historical novel is, because the novel I am working on is set in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. If we follow the dictum that a novel is ‘historical’ if set before the author’s birth, then mine clearly is, since I was born in 1955, almost twenty years after the very end of the action in the novel. And yet I feel a resistance to considering it a historical novel. No doubt this is partly owing to the stigma that pertains even now to historical fiction–I say even now since the genre is ever more popular–but also, I think, because I often reject the appellation altogether.