The next trend in books? Fantasy and fairytales to primitive and natural

Just read an Age interview with trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort about her prediction for the next decade’s trend.

Seems that we’re moving away from a culture of fantasy and the ‘princess phenomenon’. Step into any bookstore and it’s bleedingly obvious that the book publishing industry has been party to this trend. Along with marketers deliberately targetting tweens, there has also been the ‘pinkification’ of children’s book covers for the last decade. Campaigns such as UK’s ‘pinkstinks‘ seek to address the balance. I mean, do kids really need yet another sparkly, pink, fairy book?

Edelkoort is now predicting that we are seeking a closer relationship with nature and animals, that we are longing for a primitive simplicity in our lives.

It’s funny how the ‘zeitgeist’ is part of all of us. Back in 2006, I was at work on a YA novel exploring our relationship with working/tamed wild animals. I was also in the midst of studying Environmental History and felt strongly that urban Australians had little concept of ‘sharing’ nature with animals.

Of course I’m not alone in these opinions. Last Thursday’s Artscape on ABC1 featured a wonderful artist, Lisa Roet. Roet has depicted and studied apes for most of her life. She brings the politics of the apes’ plight into galleries. And then there’s Patricia Piccinini, who creates uncanny, grotesque and sometimes alien-looking sculptures. For me, Piccinini’s sculptures reflect how close we really are to nature. Edelkoort also cites the success of the film Avatar as an example of the new trend.

I’m looking forward to the time when this aesthetic flows over into mainstream culture. It’s exciting and personally, I can’t wait!