I understand that aging is one of those things that distinguishes someone as “experienced”, or so many people think. But I am so tired of reading stories about old people. I flipped through two lit mags yesterday at Barnes and Noble on my break from work and both mags had at least one story about an elderly person dying. I am searching for lit mags to send three of my literary fiction pieces to, reading the current and back issues and archives that are available, and it seems on every website I visit, the first story I read is about an elderly person dying. Is this what defines a story as literary fiction? Have I been misled about what literary fiction is?
But I know that I am an audience member who appreciates most literary fiction (such as a story about a fire swallower I read in Camera Obscura a few weeks ago–that story was bad-ass and different). I don’t mind reading about death and growing old every once in a while. BUT THE AMOUNT OF STORIES ABOUT DEATH AND DYING I COME ACROSS IN LITERARY FICTION IS FUCKING OBSCENE!!! Lit mags, the next time I send you some of my writing, please consider it, because it is absolutely not about old people dying and I think I speak for many when I say that this subject in lit. fic. is much overdone. Or maybe I am just bitter because I’ve had about 150 rejections in-counting since I first submitted something to publishers six years ago.