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Literature Glossary

Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.

Literary Fiction

Definition:

The next time someone asks you "what genre is that book you've got?" and your answer is "um… good?", you're probably reading literary fiction.

Literary fiction describes a genre (or is it?) of fictional works that are just that—good. They're serious, well-written, thought-provoking… you get the point. Literary fiction also tends to focus on the psychology of the characters more than plot.

So, you want to read a serious, well-written story that's slow-moving and psychologically probing? Check out Raymond Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" or John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums."

Tags: General, Genre