I was talking with genius New Mexico writer Daniel Abraham the other day, and once again he demonstrated why we all think he's going to rule the world before he's fifty. (And if not him, his kid.)
He announced that he'd figured out the difference between genre and literary fiction.
Which is really tough to do, if you think about it. It's not subject matter any more, not with Philip Roth writing an alternate-worlds novel and urban fantasy/magical realist novels winning the Pulitzer Prize. It's not the quality of the writing, because we can all name genre writers whose writing blows away most literary writers.
"Literary fiction," sez Daniel, "is fiction written to be read by the upper class."
Oh wow. I think he's totally right.