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Genres of Literary Works

What are Literary Works 

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“Literary works” are works, other than audiovisual works, expressed in words, numbers, or other verbal or numerical symbols or indicia, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as books, periodicals, manuscripts, phonorecords, film, tapes, disks, or cards, in which they are embodied. (definition by U.S. Copyright Office) 

The most common type of literary work are fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry, they are sometimes  called the four main types of literature  or main genres of literary works. 

Let us start exploring the other genres of literary works.

 

Types or Genres

Do you have a favorite type of book, either fiction or non-fiction? Are you thinking about branching out and enjoying a new genre? If so, you might be interested in a list of book types or genres. See if any of the below sub-types catch your eye.

 

Books are either fiction or non-fiction

Non-fiction books contain factual information, such as biographies and history books.

Fiction books contain a story which was made up by the author.

Nonfiction

Biographies are examples of non-fiction works. Most biographies are non-fiction, but not all non-fiction works are biographies by any means. We say "most" biographies, because a biography of a fictional character is really a fictional book.

Journals such as The Diary of Anne Frank is also a journal, but it is a non-fiction journal.

Other examples of non-fiction books are "how to" books and travel books.

Fiction

The most commonly read works are works of fiction. Fiction books are ones that have been made up. Perhaps some of their elements are based on hints of truth, but they have been elaborated, fabricated, and used to embellish into a new story.

Some examples of classic fiction books are The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

Book Genres (sub-types)

The two types of books can be further divided into many different sub-types, called "genres." Here are some of the different genres of books which are available today. After we list all of them, we will discuss some of the more popular genres.

Fiction

Non-fiction

Action and adventure

Art

Alternate history

Autobiography

Anthology

Biography

Chick lit

Book review

Children's literature

Cookbook

Comic book

Diary

Coming-of-age

Dictionary

Crime

Encyclopedia

Drama

Guide

Fairytale

Health

Fantasy

History

Graphic novel

Journal

Historical fiction

Math

Horror

Memoir

Mystery

Prayer

Paranormal romance

Religion, spirituality, and new age

Picture book

Textbook

Poetry

Review

Political thriller

Science

Romance

Self help

Satire

Travel

Science fiction

True crime

Short story

 

Suspense

 

Thriller

 

Young adult

 

 

Fiction

Drama

Stories composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.

Fable

Narration demonstrating a useful truth, especially in which animals speak as humans; legendary, supernatural tale.

Fairy Tale

Story about fairies or other magical creatures, usually for children.

Fantasy

Fiction with strange or other worldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality.

Fiction

Narrative literary works whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.

Fiction in Verse

Full-length novels with plot, subplot(s), theme(s), major and minor characters, in which the narrative is presented in (usually blank) verse form.

Folklore

The songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or "folk" as handed down by word of mouth.

Historical Fiction

Story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting.

Horror

Fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread in both the characters and the reader.

Humor

Fiction full of fun, fancy, and excitement, meant to entertain; but can be contained in all genres

Legend

Story, sometimes of a national or folk hero, which has a basis in fact but also includes imaginative material.

Mystery

Fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets.

Mythology

Legend or traditional narrative, often based in part on historical events, that reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the gods.

Poetry

Verse and rhythmic writing with imagery that creates emotional responses.

Realistic Fiction

Story that can actually happen and is true to life.

Science Fiction

Story based on impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets.

Short Story

Fiction of such brevity that it supports no subplots.

Tall Tale

Humorous story with blatant exaggerations, swaggering heroes who do the impossible with nonchalance.

Nonfiction

Biography/Autobiography

Narrative of a person's life, a true story about a real person.

Essay

A short literary composition that reflects the author's outlook or point.

Narrative Nonfiction

Factual information presented in a format which tells a story.

Nonfiction

Informational text dealing with an actual, real-life subject.

Speech

Public address or discourse.

Satire

Satires, in the most basic definition, are works making fun of some sort of person or institution. Political satires, such as A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, are quite popular works.

Generally, they are written to make fun of something, but that does not mean that it has to be a hysterical type of humor. The humor might be rather dark, and quite a number of times, it certainly is.

Anthology

Students who have taken a class in college in Shakespeare or the Romantics probably know a thing or two about anthologies, since they are frequently on the "must buy" list for these sorts of classes. Anthologies are compilations of many different works. For example, you could purchase an anthology containing all of the works of Shakespeare.

In addition to the actual works, there will also usually be background information about the time period or the writer. Some of them will include critical discourses in the back, although they do not always have to.

Explore, Explore and Explore some more.

Now that you know more about the different types of genres, you can continue exploring other works of fiction and non-fiction. Who knows? You may even find a new favorite! 

"In teaching others we teach ourselves"  - Proverb

Have Fun!
Manuel, M. M.

-compiler-

Sources(Webliography)

https://definedterm.com/literary_works

http://https://reference.yourdictionary.com/books-literature/different-types-of-books.html

https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/rl/litrlgenres.asp

 

 

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