'The Magician's Land' author Lev Grossman on breaking the rules of fantasy

Lev Grossman recently published "The Magician's Land," the third installment in his "The Magicians" trilogy. Watch this online exclusive from his conversation with senior correspondent Jeffrey Brown.

The son of two English professors, fantasy writer Lev Grossman grew up reading literature. But when it came time to write for himself, he started by not writing the kind of book his parents were teaching.

"Breaking the rules is something novelists should do as much as possible," Grossman told senior correspondent Jeffrey Brown.

In his trilogy "The Magicians" — the third book, "The Magician's Land," hit shelves in August — his characters don't quite fit the mold of typical fantasy characters.

"One of the main characters is gay. You don't see a whole lot of homosexuality in fantasy, and you should …. One of them is sexually promiscuous. One of them is depressed. There's a kind of range of psychological personalities that is a little bit broader than what you see in standard fantasy."

"The Magicians" has earned both praise and popularity. Published in 2009, it was a New York Times bestseller and one of The New Yorker reviewers' favorite books of the year. In 2011, the writer published the second installment, "The Magician King," which was also a Time bestseller.

"It's as though you had a private joke that only you thought would be funny and accidentally it got out and other people thought it was hilarious. it was surprising, but it in the best possible way."

Tune in to tonight's broadcast of the PBS NewsHour for the first part of Jeffrey's conversation with Lev Grossman. You can watch on our Ustream Channel at 6 p.m. EDT or check your local listings.

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