Ugh, I have such a chip on my shoulder about literary fiction. In fact, when I say it, I make it sound all fancy and hoity toity. You know, ~*literary fiction*~ that beautiful special snowflake.
I realize I have issues. Most of those issues, I think, stem from all of those years of studying lit and then doing the creative writing MA. You may not know this, but, in a lot of creative writing programs, the goal is to produce literary fiction, and genre fiction is pooh-poohed. In fact, in my undergrad creative writing classes as well as my graduate ones, we were often explicitly told not to write anything but literary fiction. And all we read as examples was literary fiction.
Which led to me becoming sort of a reverse snob. I tend to avoid literary fiction on purpose. If critics love it, if it’s lauded as a feat in literature, I’ll avoid it. I find a lot of those kinds of books boring and overworked and annoying. And I’m also annoyed that people tell me they’re supposed to be good when I tend to enjoy, say, young adult lit or even chick lit more.
Like I said: issues.
(Side note: If you ever needed another reason not to go to grad school, now you know it makes you crazy in so many ways. I haven’t even really talked about my experiences studying lit yet.)
ANYWAY. All of that said, I do find myself enjoying literary fiction from time to time. I classify literary fiction as adult realistic fiction that doesn’t easily fit into a subcategory. So! Some I have read, reviewed, enjoyed:
- Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
- The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
- Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice
- Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby