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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Literary Fiction Guide: Home

A guide of resources for anyone interested in reading literary fiction

What is "Literary Fiction"?

The University of Illinois Library has a robust collection of  literary fiction. Literary Fiction or "serious fiction," are works that claim to hold literary merit, in comparison to genre/popular fiction. They emphasize meaning, in particular emotional meaning, over entertainment and aspires more toward art. "To put it simply, literary fiction is anything that does not fit into a genre," as Steven Petite put it in his article at HuffPost.


  • If you would like to hear another perspective and see a table comparing the two, check out writer and blogger Jennifer Ellis' take on it: Genre vs. Literary Fiction.
  • If you would like to read genre books, check out the UGL


Art by Tom Gauld

Author Pages

Below are some author pages that could lead you to find your next read:

  • Goodreads
    • There are so many authors here, over 200,000!



  • BookBrowse
    • An awesome directory that has many authors posted in alphabetical order according to the authors last name. 


  • LibraryThing
    • LibraryThing is a great social cataloging web application for storing and sharing book catalogs and various types of book metadata.






  • Wikipedia
    • List of many authors and their respective wiki pages.



Want to keep up to date with new literary fiction coming into the library?  Then follow @litlanglibrary on Instagram! 

Each week, we spotlight new fiction, award winners, and translations worthy of attention. 

Searching for books



To search for books, use the library catalog. We recommend you use only titles and authors.

Literary Fiction in Audio Books

The University Library subscribes to a core collection of about 5000 eAudio books from Recorded Books, which allows unlimited simultaneous users for each title. For more information on how to use this collection, you can also use the following resource page:


​"LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain, and then we release the audio files back onto the net for free. All our audio is in the public domain, so you may use it for whatever purpose you wish."


A non-free option, this company sells digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. 

Literatures and Languages Library

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Literatures and Languages Library
225 Main Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-2220