November 20, 2009
Is it bloated, underdeveloped, or just right?
by Kelly Burdick
A month ago we told you about an article at the Fiction Desk that argued that novellas are more widely reviewed online because they are shorter and therefore take less time to read and review. We at Melville House liked this idea — because we publish two series of novellas. But we’re also always on the lookout for other novella opinions.
Take this: “A novella can be a powerful literary form, but it too often serves as a designation for a bloated short story or an underdeveloped novel.” That’s an unsigned critic in The Atlantic, writing about Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro. “It’s the latter in this case,” the critic notes. But “No matter: Munroe is the best living fiction writer in our language. When will she be awarded the Nobel?”
Kelly Burdick is the former executive editor of Melville House.