E.L. Doctorow: Don’t Call It ‘Historical’

May 1, 2012 | CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY Lecture Series

Well-known for his best-selling works, often described as historical fiction, the author of Ragtime and Billy Bathgate resists the labeling of his writing. “There is something diminishing about the word ‘historical’ as applied to a novel,” says E.L. Doctorow, who spoke at the fourth annual Leon Levy Conference at the Graduate Center. “A work relegated to a genre, somehow feels less relevant than the here and now,” says Doctorow, the award-winning author of 11 novels, who delivered the conference lecture, “Biography in Fiction.”