From The Boston Globe:
Without quite grasping the extent of our debt, we rely on writers to help explain the world to us. It's they who give us a feel for what it's like to fall in love, who give us words for describing the landscape around us, and who help us interpret the dynamics of our families. Such is their power that we can name whole slices of experience with adjectives built of their names. We speak of encountering, sometimes in the most unlikely settings, dynamics most succinctly described as “Proustian,” “Austenesque,” and “Kafkan.” Writers are our map-makers.
However, many contemporary writers are notably silent about a key area of our lives: our work. If a proverbial alien landed on earth and tried to figure out what human beings did with their time simply on the evidence of the literature sections of a typical bookstore, he or she would come away thinking that we devote ourselves almost exclusively to leading complex relationships, squabbling with our parents, and occasionally murdering people. What is too often missing is what we really get up to outside of catching up on sleep, which is going to work at the office, store, or factory.