The Storyteller Reports: Literary Fiction As A Genre

RANT OF THE WEEK: Is Literary Fiction A Genre?

According to BooksLive, and to absolutely nobody’s surprise, there is some controversy as to whether crime books constitute good literature. I’ll let them quote the talking heads. In the meantime, I want to ask some questions.

Isn’t The Brothers Karamazov a crime novel? Isn’t it one of the great literary masterpieces of Western civilization? Darn right it is. Isn’t it obvious, then, that you can have a crime novel that is literary? Why are there people condemning entire genres? All good fiction should impact us. The impact might be sadness, excitement, or joy, but there must be an impact. By literary fiction, we mean books that seek to impact readers with ideas, as well as sensations.

Genre should not be the focus, but individual books. Crime novels, thrillers, horror stories, historical romances and all the other genres are settings in which literary fiction can take place- or an entertaining story. It doesn’t provide as much meat for study, but there’s no reason to condemn it.

Take a chill pill.

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