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Fiction set apart by its literary merit. Is commonly realistic fiction
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Literary fiction

Fiction set apart by its literary merit. Is commonly realistic fiction

Literary fiction is a term used in the book-trade to distinguish novels that are regarded as having literary merit, from most commercial or "genre" fiction. However, the boundaries are not fixed, and the serious study of genre fiction has developed within academia in recent decades. Literary fiction is a label that, in the book trade, refers to market novels that do not fit neatly into an established genre (see genre fiction); or, otherwise, refers to novels that are character-driven rather than plot-driven, examine the human condition, use language in an experimental or poetic fashion, or are simply considered "serious" art.

Literary fiction is often used as a synonym for literature, in the narrow sense of writings specifically considered to be an art form. While literary fiction is sometimes regarded as superior to genre fiction, the two are not mutually exclusive, and major literary figures have employed the genres of science fiction, crime fiction, romance, etc., to create works of literature. Furthermore, the study of genre fiction has developed within academia in recent decades.

Whereas genre fiction from Romance to Dystopian Horror is plot-driven, Literary Fiction is character-driven. Any action in the story impacts the main character or characters, and understanding this impact is the whole point of telling the story.

Some literary fiction examples include To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Unlike genre fiction, literary fiction can't be subcategorized; it doesn't break down further into genres.

Literary fiction can include novels, novellas, and short stories.

The difference between fiction and literary fiction is that literary fiction focuses upon style and depth, and is character driven, whereas genre fiction is plot driven, has a broader viewpoint, and focuses more upon imaginary details.

Literary Fiction

  • Character-focused narratives.
  • Ample symbolism, metaphor, and allegory.
  • Advanced vocabulary infused with imagery.
  • Ambiguous plot points, including even the work's conclusion.
  • Exploration of larger philosophical themes regarding the human condition and the will of nature.

Literary fiction, to define it as simply as possible, is a genre of fiction set apart by its literary merit. Literary fiction is commonly realistic fiction, meaning that it deals with real people working through contemporary issues in a modern-day, believable setting, but this isn't a hard rule.