LITERARY FICTION “The worldview implied by literary fiction is complex and ambiguous, trying to be faithful to the complexity and ambiguity of life.” ~ Nancy Kress This is perhaps the most amorphous of the genres. Some folks like to say you know it when you read it. For the purposes of brevity, we’ll rely on an good, but wholly inadequate, definition of LF from Wikipedia, “LF comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition. Literary fiction is deliberately written in dialogue with existing works, created with the above aims in mind and is focused more on themes than on plot, …” This definition doesn’t quite encompass the genre, but admirably describes a number of its aspects. While the definition does fall prey to the elitist attitudes that are myopic, careless, and frustratingly enduring, perhaps a list of literary fiction might lend some insight to what we mean by the term.
Book Examples: The Kite Runner, The Bell Jar, Americanah, All The Light We Cannot See, The Alchemist, Kitchen, Invisible Man, The Lovely Bones, Left Hand of Darkness, The Bluest Eye, Life of Pi, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Slaughterhouse Five, The Great Gatsby, Crime and Punishment