What's the meaning of the phrase 'Aga saga'?
A genre of popular fiction.
What's the origin of the phrase 'Aga saga'?
An Aga saga is a type of popular novel, set in middle England and populated by the middle classes of the sort that typically own Aga cookers. Agas are kitchen ranges, often very large and expensive, which are seen as epitomizing the prosperous and cosy middle-class English country lifestyle.
Joanna Trollope has good reason to dislike the term.
The term 'Aga saga' was coined in 1992, in Publishing News, by Terence Blacker. It is very often used to describe the works of the English writer Joanna Trollope. This is rather unfair on the author as many of her works aren't classifiable as from that genre. Trollope herself is less than pleased with the description. At the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival in May 2003 she said, "I will be the Queen of the Aga saga to my dying day. It's jolly annoying...". In February 2005, in a Q&A interview for The Independent newspaper, there was this exchange:
Q: Do you have shares in Aga? Do you object to your novels being called "Aga sagas"?
Trollope: Shares in Aga? Absolutely not. I must admit that I am fairly tired of such an inaccurate and patronising tag.