It's Boom Time for Boomers with a whole new generation of their own Literature
February 3, 2013
Caleb Pirtle III
Guest Blogger Claude Nougat has dedicated herself to her two lifelong passions, writing and painting. Her writing includes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. So far she has published two books in Italian and seven books in English (one non-fiction in Italy and six fiction all on Amazon). Her poetry is included in a poetry anthology edited by Oscar Sparrow (published by Gallo Romano, UK, December 2012, available on Amazon).
She has started a group on Goodreads to discuss a new, fast growing genre: Baby Boomer novels (or BB novels). It was an instant success and the members are now reading her own BB novel A HOOK IN THE SKY. Join the debate, find out more about BB lit and add your views to help define this new genre aimed at boomers – focused on “coming of old age” just as YA lit is focused on coming of age. Both BB and YA span a wide range of sub-genres from comedy to tragedy to thrillers and more, and both owe their success to Baby Boomers: YA in the 1960s/70s when boomers left behind their teen years and entered adulthood; and BB now that boomers are entering the third stage in their life.
Boomer literature, a genre born for boomers, is now on the Net: the Goodreads Group discussing Boomer Lit has just set up its own Facebook community page, take a look, click here. “Like” it, make comments, join the debate about boomer lit, share your views, tell your friends about it! This is the go-to page to get all the latest information about boomer lit, a hot new genre. The Goodreads Group grew to 200 members in the three months since its creation, now it got 103 likes on its Facebook page in just 24 hours, a record! (see screenshot above).
I can hear you yawn, oh no, not another page on Facebook!
Why bother, what’s different about this page? Maybe you’re not even a boomer (i.e. someone born between 1946 and 1964), so why should you care?
Well, I think you should care.
First, boomer lit raises inter-generational issues: as such, it’s of interest to anyone, young or old. Now that you’re an adult yourself, how do you get along with your Mom and Dad? Any problems with the elderly, those in their 70s and 80s and that so many of you boomers have to look after? What about long-standing marriages threatened by love affairs when, say, a beautiful young woman enters the life of a mature man?
Second, this Facebook page is not your usual author page peddling his/her books. Indeed, no direct pitches/self promotion is allowed on the site, the page has a ruthless administrator (me) ready to remove any post that doesn’t have content!
Content is King!
What you will find here is news about boomer books and boomer films (after all, most movies are based on books). So you’ll get the latest boomer book reviews, interviews with authors of boomer books and yes, along with boomer movie trailers, boomer book trailers .
Why, you may ask, book trailers, aren’t those “direct pitches”? Yes and no. The difference is that they are (usually) fun to watch, they can have a catchy tune, evocative images or even a short, enticing scene. In short, they are (generally) not boring.
Because that’s the whole point of the page: to avoid boredom! The goal is to offer a fun way to learn about boomer lit. It’s not literature for the decrepit and old. Boomer lit is tailored to the boomer generation: it reflects how boomers are approaching the third stage in their lives…with dynamism!
And they’re doing that at a fast clip, 3.5 million/year in the US (where they are some 78 million boomers). Today, the youngest boomer (born in 1964) is 49, hopefully at the apex of his/her working life; the oldest is 67, i.e. probably already retired but, thanks to medical advances, still sprightly. They both share the boomer heritage: this is the generation that rebelled against the status quo, hoping to change the world…Remember Woodstock, the Flower People, Make Love Not War, 1968, self-regenerating trips to India? No other generation has so readily embraced ethical causes, from racial equality to the rights of women and gay people, the defense of the poor, of our environment and more.
This is the generation that invented Young Adult Literature, a major genre in the publishing industry. This is the generation that got the whole marketing industry fixated on selling to the young. Because of the boomers, Being Young was no longer equated to inexperience: Young is Beautiful! And of course it was a lucrative market: boomers in the US control about 75% of GNP – ditto in the rest of the developed world.
Well, boomers are no longer young. As a recent United Nations study has shown, the whole world population is aging fast: by 2050, the global population aged 60 and over is projected to triple to nearly 2 billion and developed countries will have more than their fair share of the elderly.
The world has gone on, wars have erupted, and boomers have learned that much as they wanted to, things rarely worked out the way they had planned. An older, scarred world awaits them. And now boomer are no longer young but they have experience, they are fully mature. They want to read books and see movies that reflect their current concerns, from novels that feature characters with whom they can identify to memoirs and guidebooks that can help them deal with “coming of old age.”
Growing old is not sad. Growing old opens up a whole lot of new opportunities, new takes on life, above all gaining a deeper understanding of the human condition. That’s a heady plus.
Facebook is the biggest social network on earth linking a billion people who share what they do: time for boomer lit to takes its place in the world conversation. Whether you’re a boomer or not, join in the debate!