Jennifer Shuessler of The New York Times suggests in "Take This Job and Write It" that this may because young novelists don't have any experience in the white collar industry, which is where a large percentage of Americans make their livelihood, but I have a hard time believing this when so few "young" authors are published, anyway. Alain de Botton of The Boston Globe calls for a "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Data-Entry Supervisor," pointing out that if literature focused on the world of work, it might invigorate our perception of work. After all, it's a real drag to show up at the office every morning when you have a hard time seeing the value of it beyond your bi-weekly pay check.
It is for these reasons that I so enjoyed Joshua Ferris' Then We Came to the End and I picked up Something Happened by Joseph Heller several weeks ago at a used bookstore. These are books that are exploring the meaning behind where I spend 10 hours a day. Whether or not a particular field of work is "good" is for each person to decide, but it's important to realize that it's more than just boring. (By the way, if anyone can recommend another book about "work," please do. I'm definitely in a frame of mind to read it.)