Blogger: Michelle Ule
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
We know, we know, it’s Etta’s turn to blog this week. She’ll be back tomorrow to talk about book series.
In the meantime, we’ve been ruminating on a comment Nicole made Friday about the lack of sagas in the market these days. One of us had to visit the dictionary to define just what a saga is and found Nicole’s meaning in the third definition: “a series of novels about several generations or members of a family.”
She wanted to argue there wasn’t a difference between a saga and an epic, so we went back to the dictionary for epic: “a book that extends beyond the usual or ordinary, especially in size or scope.” We all agreed that would describe James Michener’s works very well, and also could apply to Alex Haley’s Roots.
Sagas made us think of The Forsythe Saga by John Galsworthy, Anthony Trollope’s The Chronicles of Barsetshire, and Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg Series, which follows the Day family from pre-Revolutionary days until World War II. It also could apply to a lot of books made into films for Masterpiece Theater.
Thinking about sagas I’ve read, brought back a poignant reminder of long summer days with a series of fat books, an opportunity to spend delicious hours savoring the chronicles of people whose family was familiar to me. And typing this just now, I wonder if that is where my fascination with genealogy began?
In contemporary terms, the books we thought of were some of the Karen Kingsbury’s series–following family members, though not necessarily in succeeding generations.
Why aren’t they popular these days? Could it be a generational situation?
So our question to you all is, do you enjoy sagas? Which ones? And into which generation do you fall?