I probably have a skewed view of literature. It comes from still having to read Dr Seuss when I was eight years old. The first book I actually consumed driven by my own volition was Swallows and Amazons. My father had been reading it to me. I was in bed sick and very, very bored. The book was within reach. I was eleven or twelve.
I loved stories. But for me, like other dyslexics, the process of decoding the words was a barrier. Imagine using a chart to read a book printed in the dots and dashes of Morse code. If the author put in a wasted sentence, you might resent the extra effort. Perhaps that is why I gravitated towards genre fiction in adult life. It tended to put less barriers between me and the story being told.
The conventional wisdom of the literary establishment is that 'literary fiction' is the highest form of the art. That is why a crime novel could never win the Booker Prize. The belief is, genre fiction is populist, low-brow, commercial and tends to be shallow.
I do not accept this.
It seems to me that a story can be simply told and at the same time have great beauty and many layers of meaning. There is no reason why a novel found on the crime shelves could not also be a great work of art. And, by the same token, no reason why a novel found among works of literary fiction could not also be an enjoyable and accessible yarn.