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Writing genres (commonly known, more narrowly, as literary genres) are determined by "narrative technique, "tone, "content, and sometimes length. The most general genres are epic, tragedy, comedy and creative non-fiction. They are generally (not always) defined by the cultural movement of the historical period of time in which they were composed.

The classic major genres of literature are:

Other major book genres include


Genre categories: fiction and nonfiction[edit]

A Genre may fall under one of two categories: "fiction and "non-fiction. Any genre can be either a work of fiction (nonfactual descriptions and events invented by the "author) or a work of nonfiction (a communication in which descriptions and events are understood to be factual).

Common genres: fiction[edit]

Subsets of genres, known as common genres, have developed from the archetypes of genres in written expression.

Common genres: non-fiction[edit]

Literary fiction vs. genre fiction[edit]

"Literary fiction is a term used to distinguish certain fictional works that possess commonly held qualities to readers outside genre fiction. Literary fiction has been defined as any fiction that attempts to engage with one or more truths or questions, hence relevant to a broad scope of humanity as a form of expression. There are many sources that help readers find and define literary fiction and genre fiction.[1][2]

Genres and subgenres[edit]

Some genres listed may reappear throughout the list, indicating cross-genre status.["citation needed]

Nonfiction genres[edit]

These are genres belonging to the realm of "non-fiction. Some genres listed may reappear throughout the list, indicating cross-genre status.


  1. ^ Nancy Pearl, Now Read This: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction Archived 2012-09-14 at the "Library of Congress Web Archives, Libraries Unlimited, 1999, 432 pp. (1-56308-659-X)
  2. ^ Saricks, J. (2001). The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction. Chicago and London: American Library Association.
  3. ^ "Jewish fiction". Goodreads. 
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