Like the vampire on the prowl for fresh prey, it seems that the paranormal element is on a search for new territory. The hunt is closing in on the Literary Fiction Genre. Is this shift a result of fiction running out of places to go? Or rather is it born out of the desire to get new readers from the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance genres into Lit Fic? At any rate, the escapism of the supernatural is becoming more desirable to mostly traditional regular fiction readers (not genre readers). People are looking for a way to escape the day to day drudgery of “real life” into worlds of the unknown, the urban legend and others while demanding a more challenging read. Here are some books that are blurring the lines between literary fiction and paranormal romance:
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Much of the story takes place in France and Oxford's Bodleian Library. A vampire and witch meet, and what ensues is a Da Vinci Code meets Practical Magic sort of story. Discovery of Witches concerns a magical text and the battle of who will eventually possess it. Harkness draws elements of esoterica, wine making and even gemology into the story, something I found interesting, but at some points does make the story read a bit text bookish. Her main characters are stubborn, egocentric and not particularly likeable, but those elements are what makes this book stand out and place it in the lit fic arena.