Student Question

What types of literature, art, and theater were popular in the 1990s?

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This might make you laugh, but Oprah changed the world of literature beginning in 1996 with her "book club." Her selections rocketed to the top of the best seller lists. I believe she largely chose fiction...and often somewhat depressing themes. But I don't think anyone doubts the fact that she changed literature, encouraging millions to buy and read books that they may never have considered otherwise.

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In the realm of literature, pop fiction was king. Topping the bestseller lists were usually names like Tom Clancy (military novels), John Grisham (legal thrillers), and Stephen King (horror and psychological thrillers). Along with these authors, romance novelists like Danielle Steele and Nicholas Sparks made their mark.

Art: The nineties was a time for reflection and retrospection. Many artists began adopting styles used by prior masters -- Picasso, Van Gogh, and Da Vinci, to name just a few. Art of this decade, even contemporary art, smacked of art from times past.

Theater: Crowds flocked to see productions of Les Miserables, Cats, and Phantom of the Opera, in addition to other popular plays of this era. Theater of the nineties became more comfortable with previously taboo themes like homosexuality (see: The Birdcage).

Overall, culture of the nineties was a broad and eclectic mixture of past cultures sprinkled with the novelty of future ideas yet to be born.   

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