There was a marvellous inteview with AS Byatt in yesterday's Guardian Review. I particularly loved the following quote, but you should really read the entire interview. So enlightning and so clever.
What distinguishes her is a sort of grounded curiosity. She has been a visible admirer and encourager of younger writers including Hensher, Lawrence Norfolk, David Mitchell, Adam Thirlwell and Ali Smith. Her advocacy is "not entirely disinterested, because I wish there to be a literary world in which people are not writing books only about people's feelings. If you notice, all the ones I like write also about ideas. You know, there's been that sort of clonking account of what was good about British writing which was McEwan, Amis, Graham Swift and Julian Barnes - but there's all sorts of other things going on. In fact I admire all four of those writers . . . and they don't only do people's feelings but nevertheless it's become ossified.
Reading "..I wish there to be a literary world in which people are not writing books only about people's feelings. If you notice, all the ones I like write also about ideas..." made me very, very happy as did her insistence that contemporary British fiction does not begin nor end with McEwan, Barnes et al. All my literary rants of the past decade summed up elegantly by someone vastly more intelligent than me - isn't that just splendid?