Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.
The next time someone asks you "what genre is that book you've got?" and your answer is "um… good?", you're probably reading literary fiction.
Literary fiction describes a genre (or is it?) of fictional works that are just that—good. They're serious, well-written, thought-provoking… you get the point. Literary fiction also tends to focus on the psychology of the characters more than plot.
So, you want to read a serious, well-written story that's slow-moving and psychologically probing? Check out Raymond Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" or John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums."