Today, Armchair BEA asks us to consider how we feel about literary fiction. I’ll be honest: I have no idea what “literary fiction” means. I had to google it. Thank goodness for Wikipedia:
Despite the fact that all genres have works that are well written, those works are generally not considered literary fiction. To be considered literary, a work usually must be “critically acclaimed” and “serious”. In practice, works of literary fiction often are “complex, literate, multilayered novels that wrestle with universal dilemmas”.
I think the key word there is “claimed.” I’m not an English major nor do I hold a MFA in any type of creative writing, writing theory, etc., so maybe I’m missing something. But as a writer, I struggle with a lot of these definitions and genres and subgenres, and the fact that the so-called literary “canon” seems overpopulated with dead, white European men. I’m also confused about the difference between “literary fiction” and “classics.” Can y’all help me?
I may not have my genres down but what I can do is give something away! Leave a comment on your favorite work(s) of literary fiction. With the magic of Randomizer, one commenter (U.S. only) will be chosen to receive a copy of one of my favorite works of fiction (literary, classic, or otherwise), IN SEARCH OF SATISFACTION by J. California Cooper.
Synopsis: (from Random House)
On a once-grand plantation in Yoville, “a legal town-ship founded by the very rich for their own personal use,” a freed slave named Josephus fathers two daughters, Ruth and Yinyang, by two different women. His desire, to give Yinyang and himself money and opportunities, oozes through the family like an elixir, melding with the equally strong yearnings of Yoville’s other residents, whose tastes don’t complement their neighbors’. What Josephus buries in his life affects generations to come. J. California Cooper’s unfettered view of sin, forgiveness, and redemption gives In Search Of Satisfaction a singular richness that belies its universal themes.