Next up in our look at genres is Literary Fiction. This genre is different from the others in that it is defined by its writing style rather than the subject of its content. Below is the definition I used in our List of Genres:
LITERARY FICTION – The writing style in this type of novel is generally considered to be elegant and lyrical. This type of book appeals to a broader scope of readers than genre fiction, and often deals heavy, complex issues. The focus is more on the writing and the issue than on plot and action.
So we can recognize that a book is literary fiction by looking at a number of factors:
The writing is elegant and lyrical.
It appeals to a wide variety of readers.
Subject matter is often heavy.
Subject matter usually involves deep life issues.
Plot and action are generally light.
Character arc is generally of utmost importance.
Many people don’t recognize literary fiction for what it is since it is mixed in with general fiction. Some examples of literary fiction are John Grisham’s The Painted House, The Great Gatsby, Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell, and Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.
Have you read any excellent literary fiction novels? Please share with us in a comment.