This week, we have Mike Stop Continues back to discuss literary fiction. What makes a work literary? How is it different from genre fiction? Is there really a value judgment to be made when comparing the two? We discuss some of our favorite literary novels from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. And after all that, Robert adds a literary novel or two to his reading list!





How do you define literary fiction? And is there a value judgment between literary and genre? Is literary just a feeling or can we measure it? And how can you make your own novel literary? Want to pick up a literary book – we’ve got plenty of examples for you to choose from!

What we talked about:

What is literary fiction? (0:58)

Is there a value judgment between literary and genre fiction? (7:00)

Does originality play into the difference? (7:46)

What about the level of difficulty? (9:02)

Is it just a feeling? (10:26)

So how do you make your novel literary? (11:25)

What about the stigma of difficult language in literary? (13:28)

Literary does not mean boring! Any story can be literary. (14:54)

What about theme in literary fiction? (19:45)

Some examples of literary fiction and why they are literary. (21:30)

Is literary in the eye of the beholder? (27:14)

Our final thoughts – go enjoy a literary book. (31:25)



Things we mentioned:

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein
The Castle
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Saturday by Ian McEwan
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Drown by Junot Diaz
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer
Where No Gods Came by Sheila O’Connor
The Magus by John Fowles
The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart
Battlestar Galactica
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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