Things The Book You Don’t Write Will Never Do

I don’t know
what the book you write will do
but I know the book you do not write
will never win a Man Booker, a Baileys, a Kirkus or a 9Mobile
will never top a list or close a list
will never be a book club rave
kindling debate and speculation the world over
will never have a sequel
never be a movie
or a series
or a franchise
It will make you no millions
earn you no fans
birth you no rivals
It will not make a reviewer shudder with delight
or squirm in pain
it will never be quoted
book-spine story stacked
photographed, venerated, or vilified
It will never gladden a heart or fill one with rage
It will cause no laughter, awe, anguish or shame
It won’t spark friendships between strangers
build bridges between daughter and father
create kinship between old and young
It will do none of these things
That I guarantee.

7 Things Great Literature Does

Literature, the first discipline known to man after all, what was the Spirit hovering over the water if not back story? And what was “Let there be light.” If not Act one, scene one?

So literature has always been part of being human. It has helped carry our stories from age to age. It has warned us, shaped us, comforted us and entertained us. Literature is us.

Consequently, we always searching for new ways to experience our reality, fantasies and ideas. Billions of dollars and aeons of time is spent making, publishing, reading and receiving literary inventions like books, poems, texts and blogposts.

We don’t want good work, we want great work. The problem is, no one seems to agree on what great work is. Thankfully, it is easier to agree on what great literature does.

Here, I am sharing some of the things great literature does.

1. Great literature makes a good read.

2. Great literature lends itself, is quotable.

3. Great literature lingers after the last word, is memorable.

4. Great literature stays relevant, is evergreen.

5. Great literature touches people.

6. Great literature inspires people to create.

7. Great literature says something important.

8. Great literature leaves readers better than it met them.

9. Great literature is re-read, again and again.

10. Great literature is shared, from one generation to another.

One reviewer of Taiye Selasi’s Ghana Must Go said when you read the book, “you will know what great literature can do”. The jury might still be out on that, but if it does, that will be amazing.

What else does Great Literature do ? In your view?