Weekly Vocab Builder: New Lit Types

by Erin Brenner on April 6, 2010

Writer David Shields recently spoke at RiverRun Books in Portsmouth, NH, asking whether literature is really a relevant way to tell stories anymore. While the Internet offers us so many new ways to tell stories, by the looks of this list the novel is alive and well.

  • Chick lit: Fiction that focuses on young, hip women
  • Lad lit: Fiction that focuses on young, hip men
  • Kmart realism: Fiction that focuses on “spare, terse style that features struggling, working-class characters in sterile, bleak environments”
  • Poop fiction: Children’s fiction that uses a lot of bathroom humor and off-color jokes
  • Misery lit: “A memoir or novel that focuses on extreme personal trauma and abuse”
  • Issue literature: Fiction whose theme is based on a social, cultural, or political issue
  • Fratire: Fiction that focuses on selfish young men who engage in lots of drinking, sex, and other fraternity-type behavior
  • Tart noir: Mystery fiction whose protagonist is a tough, sexy, independent woman
  • Hysterical realism: Literature of  “exceptional length, frenetic action, offbeat characters, and long digressions on topics secondary to the story”

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