Armchair BEA: Literary fiction

May 30 2013

Today’s topic is Literary Fiction. Now I will admit when I read that I wasn’t quite sure what Literary Fiction meant. So to remedy this I looked up the definition. To quote wikipedia:

Literary fiction is a term principally used for certain fictional works that are claimed to hold literary merit.

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, multi-layered novels that wrestle with universal dilemmas”.

Well that helped to clear up the mystery of what literary fiction is. However it didn’t really make me think of any books I have read in the last year, or even in the past, that I could say without a doubt are in this category. Oh, I’m sure there are a few, but at the moment I am drawing a complete blank. As I mentioned in my genre fiction post the other day I used to read a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy and I’m just not sure that any of those books can be placed into the Literary Fiction category.

Now, one book I suppose I could mention is Perks of Being A Wallflower. This books has shown up on a number of blogs today in regards to this topic and while I enjoyed this book I’m not sure if it is truly Literary Fiction or simply something people want to see in this category. Much like with other book related topics a lot of this will fall to personal opinion, so while I will leave that one book there as my selection for what may count as Literary Fiction I am unable to list more because I don’t know if any of the other books I have read fall into this category.

Since I am fairly new to the books considered Literary Fiction I’d love to get some recommendations of what books I should read to experience these. Feel free to suggest as many books as you wish since I am always open to recommendations and expanding my book reading experiences.

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