Tuesday 20 November 2012

"Ghost Lit" becomes a Genre

On yesterday's Guardian blog, the esteemed literary commentator, Robert McCrum, analysed some of the "genres" in the book publishing market. Astonishingly, one of the genres he identifies and labels is "Ghost Lit".

"A surprising number of successful books," he writes, "(bestselling memoirs especially) are written by ghost writers. But there are also ghosted novels, too. By definition these wraith-like creatures have no names and are known only to their fellow spooks – and the publishers who depend on them."

Well blow me down with a feathered quill; from being publishing's "guilty secret" we have been catapulted to having our own genre. We are even openly represented on the Management Committee of the Society of Authors. The closet doors, it seems, have been flung well and truly open!

Does this mean, I wonder, that I need to purchase myself a suitable tuxedo, get a haircut and start preparing to mount the rostrums of the great literary prize ceremonies? Will I live long enough to deliver the first great ghosted acceptance speech? Do I hear the bell tolling on a life spent dodging the many onerous responsibilities of proper authorship?