Literary Fiction Book Tag!! | BethChatsBooks

Literary Fiction Book Tag!! | BethChatsBooks

hello everyone and welcome back to my channel beth chats books now today's video is going to be my version of the literary fiction tag so I was kindly tagged in this by jasmine over at Jasmine's reads who I'll tag down below who originally created this tag so thank you so much for tagging me but I was very humbled to be tagged and obviously as somebody who was very much a fan of literary fiction I thought this tag looks amazing so well done jasmine or creating this tag because it's absolutely fantastic and I'm so excited to answer your questions so without further ado I'm gonna get stuck him so question number one is how do you define literary fiction now I've listened to Jasmine's answer and I also listened to Marc Nash's answer because I was really struggling to define literary fiction now Marc said something really interesting about how literary fiction is kind of conscious of fiction that came before it whether it's canon literature or a different kind it kind of harks back or kind of pays homage or homage however you say that to kind of past literature and Jasmine defined it as literature that kind of raises or discusses social issues and make social commentary on things which I think are both really valid ways to describe literary fiction to me my impulsive answer and my kind of go answer to this question is that literary fiction seems to without sounding a little bit over simplistic it really plays into the literary world so it has an end goal literary fiction which is obviously to entertain its readers but it is really using the power of the literary world it is creating beautiful sounding prose it is really honing in the skills of writing and storytelling it's it's something that's almost thicker and richer than a standard plane genres type of style of writing which this all sounds really really ambiguous and I'm not purpose doing that but I feel like literary fiction the minute you pick it up you know there's a difference it might have a lot of poetic or beautiful passages on things like nature or it might go into a lot of character detail it might develop a character a lot more than for example what I'm trying to do is compare it to other genres so things like horror it has you stock structure you do a big reveal something scary happens it's all building up to that tension then it's release with the thriller there's two twists and turns and they use that kind of structure plot and I think you know with fantasy you have to do the world-building so there's components of other genres but literary fiction doesn't have that main goal to accomplish those structures or plot points so I think it's really hard to pimp up because everybody who writes literary fiction does it in a slightly different way so there's some authors that I love that purely just leave you a long period of time to immerse with their characters and their characters have very philosophical outlooks on things or they do a lot of kind of internal musings that we get to have a look at some literary fiction a bit like Mark was saying kind of harks back to all the literature or it aims to challenge you in some way to challenge your opinion of something that could be political or social or it's trying to be controversial or it's trying to be structured in a controversial way so it doesn't like follow in classic form and structure and style but mainly I enjoy literary fiction because it has more flowery language than then different genres it can take me completely out of my world and make me think about other things I think sometimes beautiful passages of nature or reflective elements a lot of characters and literary fiction will muse on their past a lot which I quite enjoy I know for some people if you're a fantasy lover unless it's to bring the plot forward maybe you're not a necessarily interest in that I think floating flower is kind of how I describe literary fiction I think that's why a lot of people don't necessarily believe it's it's its own genre because it is quite similar to classic since in some ways but then it depends on the literary fiction you enjoy obviously that's probably more the literary fiction that I do enjoy some kind of book to that question jasmine bought roundabout way I feel like I've tried to answer it and then number two name literary fiction novel with a brilliant character study so I really tried and there are so many books I could have picked for this because with me and literary fiction I feel like the most literary fiction that I really enjoyed that I give five stars really have given me time to sit with the character so I think in some ways I could argue that any of my favorite literary fiction novels would have classed as a great character study because if I feel like I really got to know them and I think it achieves that but I'm gonna annoy so many people by answering with a really cliched answer in the sense that this is my one of my favorite books of all time and any tag video I somehow managed to bring this book and today is no exception so I'm gonna pick the Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey you Jenna tease purely because it really is a character study of the girls so you become as a reader like one of the boys who spends a lot of time watching obsessing analyzing observing these girls and it becomes almost a fascination and an obsession and as a reader you kind of feel like you're one of the lads kind of voyeuristically looking in on these sisters and by the end you get a really rich a sense of the sisters and in a weird sense you kind of get to know them individually but they all kind of in the story conglomerate as one girl which sounds like that's not a great character study but it really is and it's the first book I've ever read that really takes the idea of looking at a character from that weird voyeuristic aspect which as a reader you're not really usually given you're usually watching a character like a character but kind of feeling like you're almost a character in the story watching it and watching the girls relationships and situation unfold think is good and although some people might say that the Virgin Suicides isn't a literary fiction I definitely think it is because it's one of those books that I still can't place in a genre and to me literary fiction books are often books the can't quite place in just one genre so number three no military fiction novel that has experimental or unique writing so I have picked the English Patient and I've picked this book because I've recently read it and I will talk about more about it in my Goodreads summer read-a-thon wrap-up – because it was quite recent read but as I was reading it I was really appreciating that when I first tried to read it at 18 at my very first course that I enrolled in English in my first year of uni I really couldn't connect with it and I think it's because the writing is so experimental so I was trying to explain this to my mother the other day and I said I can tell I've come on leaps and bounds as a reader from that age from 18 to 23 because I could appreciate now and and pinpoint and acknowledge what was making it difficult for me to read that book and I think it was the writing style so for example in one paragraph it will discuss three or four different things so it might discuss what the English patient's thinking internally then what's happening in the villa around then it might go into another character in their musings all in one paragraph which isn't broken up and it's not dialogue so we have to make the effort to reread the passage and figure out is this what the English patients thinking is this what another characters thinking like hip Oh Hanna and we kind of have to go through each paragraph and kind of sift out what was going on so the structure doesn't lay itself – a traditional style there wasn't a lot of dialogue in the book there wasn't a lot of breaking off of chapters either in own of pages so it definitely was a difficult writing style but once you get into it and you acknowledge that every other paragraph you might have to go back and say the words out loud a little bit and play around with with a paragraph and think what was that talking about and obviously the structure itself it flitted a lot between past and present but like I said sometimes some books punctuate that with little Asterix or other indications and this book doesn't so you have to be what I would call an active reader when you read it you really have to acknowledge it's going to be difficult and kind of take your time with it but it's a very rewarding book in the end for that but you have to go in with that frame of mind so yeah it's not just what are classes a an easy read and the writing style can be a little bit jarring at times but yes that's my perfect example because it is very much a literary fiction because the characters moves on that past it doesn't really project too far in the future and we're kind of in a present moment when all these characters have managed to merge into the same present time frame and they're kind of working through feelings in that present and it deals with social issues for example war trauma for different characters and it really does a beautiful character study of each of the three or four main characters and how Wars affected them and that's kind of more of the premise of the book than a plot as such and then number four and a military fiction novel with an interesting structure so I've picked the Night Watch by Sarah waters because I also read this at university and one of the main reasons we read it was to look at his experimental structure because it goes backwards in time which is not a very conventional style for most writers so we kind of meet the characters at the end of the war when everything's already happened and we go back to almost the beginning of the relationship at the end of the book and it it kind of messes with your head a little bit because you ORD you know what's going to happen because you kind of met it at the beginning of the book and then you kind of go back to it at the end it becomes cyclical in nature but we're reversing in time which feels disconcerting when you read it but it's a very playful structure and the characters are really interesting that it does raise a lot of social issues because Sarah waters is renowned for writing lesbian characters and she's very very famous in the LGBT community and she writes phenomenally and that books really interesting because a lot of people Harket as one of their favorites I haven't read enough Sarah waters to make the decision for myself however I really love that book because it it did have that playful structure the relationships it kind of zooms in on just three or four marginal characters again their love life their relationship and then the impact of war as well so yeah there's not necessarily we don't need to get from point A to point B for both the book to work the in-between bit where we're actually having the character studies of these characters mingling together and their internal issues is the core of book and I think that's what defines a fairy fiction for me it's not the getting from the a to the B it's the bit in the middle and what we're learning about the characters without there having to be an overall point or structure or a or reveal for me just spending time with the characters to me defines a literary fiction without there having to be an end goal and then name a literary fiction novel that explores a social theme so I put autumn by Ali Smith because it was the first of the seasonal Alex Smith novels and this one is the one I remember the most of read autumn and winter but I remember this because it describes brexit quite a lot and it describes political and social issues and Alec Smith pretty much any novel potentially by Alec Smith is what I would call one that explores social themes she does have LGBTQ characters she does talk about current political issues she has very beautiful writing she is very poetic in her writing style and her prose are also very interesting structurally so she kind of takes a lot of literary fiction boxes I think for a lot of people Ottoman wins are really defined literary fiction for me because if someone asked me to actually explain the plot it'd be incredibly difficult to do so because with most books you kind of say this character meets this character and this happens and it's based in here but she has a floaty quality to her writing where it was about a daughter and a mother and the daughter's relationship with an older man but it really wasn't definable and it's really not a perfect book the throw a synopsis on the back of and she's a bit of a challenge to read because it's not conventional but she's fantastic so she is very much a literary fiction Queen to me and then number six name a literary fiction novel that explores the human condition so I put days without end by Sebastian Barry because the way that jasmine described his question she said it's almost about what it's like to live in the human condition and a very human and raw book and I fell in love for days without end purely for that reason the beautiful flourishing relationship between the two main characters their love of the little girl who I think they kind of semi adopt because the the plots a little bit vague for me because I read it quite a while ago but I remember falling in love with how beautifully and delicately it was written their romantic relationship was so interesting because I think a lot of fiction tries to make and I think a lot of films I have an issue with sometimes LGBT representation because it's almost made to be pornographic or overly sexual for example a lot of lesbian relationships whether in film or in books is often about the very feminine sexuality in the teasing in the taunting in the tantalizing elements of it instead of having just an authentic love story and what I loved about this is it was authentic it wasn't sensationalized it wasn't over sexualized we don't really get the sexuality side the relationship we get the developing romance and the kind of the way they become almost like a married couple and they take on the hardships together and they intrinsically know what the others thinking and how to support the other without words with just was just kind of a connection that they have and I just thought it was explored and presented beautifully and I loved after reading it that Sebastian Barry had kind of written it to his son who had recently come out as gay and he kind of wanted it's kind of beautiful when you read that book and I realize that it's almost a father's way of expressing his love and his pride for his son and really trying to do his emotions justice through these characters which i think and hope that his son received in the best way because it really is a beautiful beautiful book and then number seven name a brilliant literary hybrid genre novel so I put the immortal s by Chloe Benjamin because I think it's very much a literary fiction because we really get strong character studies of the four siblings they kind of get intersection doff into the four siblings lives so the premise is roughly that they all lived in New York and I think they visit this psychic who kind of can predict the day you're gonna die you're going one by one and they find out the date and then we go through an individual character till the day they die it kind of is a weird coming of age and it's not really why a but it does have hints of why a in there and it's kind of contemporary I would say it's very much literary because one of the characters is dealing with his sexuality one of them has crippling OCD one of them has kind of depression and so we would kind of deal with the internal issues of the characters and there's not really a point obviously the point is that we get to the bit where they die and then there's the end of their story but it's not because we're enjoying their journey so much so definitely with class that has literary but like I said it's a hybrid or full of loads of different things and I think it's well worth a read if it sounds remotely interesting to you guys and then a break what genre do you wish was mixed with literary fiction more so I put psychological thriller purely because my example is kind of like Truman Capote's in cold blood because that kind of he classes it as a nonfiction fiction but I think it is kind of a thriller esque because we've we've kind of have this morbid fascination in in contemporary life now to be obsessed with true crime and we devour thrillers on the beach and we like if they've got a splash of based on true events or even if they are action alized we can't get enough of gruesome thrillers you know things like my sister the serial killer has blown up on booktube we have morbid fascinations in these things whether the tomb or not but that's a good example of a book that is kind of spoiler esque but it's so much richer and deeper and I would like the idea the thrill is that I don't really enjoy things like gone girl girl on the train are very tropi and thrillers that I've previously loved like lullaby have been more away I'd done it than who done it and a bit of a character development not necessarily plot based book character driven and I think literally plays a lot with character driven story lines and I think there's a lot of room for the psychological thrillers I enjoy that are very literary to expand and to give the tropi thrillers a bit of a break so I'm gonna go with that because that that's a kind of genre that I love when it is inter played with literary fiction so that's me done I'm going to tag chars Heathcote Dayne reads and Graeme quickly to do this tag because I ran out of people because so many people have been timed so if you you boys have already been timed I apologize but I've talked to you again anybody else would like to do this tag just consider that I've tagged you and just go ahead and do it because it's such a fun tag and it really helped my brain get going in and really list and think about the books that I had read that will litter fiction and play around with his genre mole which is always fun for me so thank you so much jasmine for tagging me and for doing this tag and that's about it so thank you guys so much for watching this video and I'll be back very soon with a brand new video bye now

8 thoughts on “Literary Fiction Book Tag!! | BethChatsBooks

  1. Great thoughtful video. May have to give the English Patient another try. Found The Sense of an Ending a great literary fiction read on the human condition.

  2. I had the same experience with The English Patient, except I was your age when I first tried (and failed) and didn't try again till I was in my thirties. So well done 😁 Days Without End is so great, I think it would fit every prompt. It's a hybrid western, great characters, unique writing…

  3. This was awesome, Beth 🙂 Have you read any other Eugenides? I only ask because the sole Eugenides book I've read was The Marriage Plot and I wasn't much of a fan. But I only hear good things about The Virgin Suicides. I'm hoping it's just a much better book, haha. LOVED your comment about how a lot of literary fiction novels don't fit neatly in a genre and are kind of a blend of other genres. Completely agree. It's one of my favorite things about lit fic.

  4. Loved this, Beth!!! Smashed it✨ I love that you included The English Patient. Such a lovely book. Oh I really need to read Autumn. So happy to see you mention Days Without End, that is SUCH a fab answer for the human condition question. So so good. Thank you for doing this Beth😘

  5. Virgin Suicides is definitely Literary Fiction! I love all of Eugenides' novels but his short stories are pants!

  6. Thanks for the tag, it's certainly thought-provoking. I'm not really sure where I stand with literary fiction – for years I thought it was one thing, only to discover my estimation was wrong and it was actually something else altogether.

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