“A device by which a work presents material that occurred prior to the opening scene of the work. Various methods may be used, among them recollections of characters, narration by the characters, dream sequences, and reveries.”
Source: Harmon, William and C. Hugh Holman, A Handbook to Literature, 7th ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1996), p. 215.
“The presentation of material in a work in such a way that later events are prepared for. [. . .] the purpose of foreshadowing is to prepare the reader or viewer for action to come.”
Source: Harmon, William and C. Hugh Holman, A Handbook to Literature, 7th ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1996), p. 219.
“Used to designate the types or categories into which literary works are grouped according to form, technique, or, sometimes, subject matter. The French term means “kind,” “genus,” or “type.” The traditional genres include tragedy, comedy, epic, lyric, and pastoral. Today a division of literature into genres would also include novel, short story, essay, television play, and motion picture scenario. [. . .] Critics today frequently regard genre distinctions as useful descriptive devices but rather arbitrary ones. Genre boundaries have been much subject to flux and blur in recent times, and it is almost the rule that a successful work will combine genres in some original way.”
Source: Harmon, William and C. Hugh Holman, A Handbook to Literature, 7th ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1996), p. 231.
The related term genre fiction refers to several types of popular fiction such as thrillers, westerns, mysteries, romance novels, and science fiction. Each type has its own set of standard characteristics that most novels of the type exhibit. Genre fiction is often used pejoratively to mean something like “mere genre fiction,” which refers to a formulaic novel that rigidly follows the conventions of its type and exhibits little creativity.
Sponsored by Scotiabank, the Giller Prize is Canada’s richest and most prestigious award for fiction.
alternate terms: gothic novel, gothic narrative
A type of fiction that arose in the 18th century. “It was characterized by horror, violence, supernatural effects, and medieval elements, usually set against a background of gothic architecture, especially a gloomy and isolated castle.”
Source: Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, 4th ed., ed. Bruce Murphy (N.Y.: HarperCollins, 1996), p. 417.
In addition to the gloomy, isolated castle, other common gothic trappings include insanity (often in the form of a mad relative kept locked in a room in the castle), ghosts and spirits, and dramatic thunder-and-lightning storms.
See also: Southern gothic
Examples: Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier epitomizes the gothic novel. Other works by duMaurier, including Jamaica Inn, also include gothic elements.
“Since 1991, the North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers has presented the Hammett trophy to the book of the year that best represents the conception of literary excellence in crime writing.
. . .
To be eligible, a work “must have first been published in the United States or Canada . . ., in English not translated from another language.”
“A type of 20th-century American crime story, which combined the style of realism with a subject of increasing interest: urban crime. Hard-boiled fiction gained a reputation for laconic, witty, and sometimes realistically crude dialogue; the graphic and objective depiction of violence; and the introduction of seedy, corrupt, and sordid settings.”
Source: Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, 4th ed., ed. Bruce Murphy (N.Y.: HarperCollins, 1996), p. 446.
Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction
“The prize is awarded annually to a published work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.”
“The central character (masculine or feminine) in a work. The character who is the focus of interest.”
Source: Harmon, William and C. Hugh Holman, A Handbook to Literature, 7th ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1996), p. 246.
A hero traditionally has positive qualities such as high ethical standards, commitment to duty, perseverance, and courage. An antihero possesses negative qualities such as cowardice and dishonesty. Protagonist is a neutral term denoting simply the main character of a work.
“The Hugo Awards, first presented in 1953 and presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), which is also responsible for administering them.”
Source: The Hugo Awards
“The most famous categories are Best Novel and Best Dramatic Presentation. However, there are many other Hugo Awards available, including some for short fiction, for artists, for editors and some for fannish activities. An additional award, the Astounding Award for Best New Writer (formerly the John W. Campbell Award), is voted for and presented alongside the Hugos but is not an official Hugo Award.”
Source: Hugo Award FAQ
International Booker Prize
Also see: Booker Prize
“The International Booker Prize is awarded annually for a single work of fiction, translated into English and published in the UK by a registered imprint. Both works of long form fiction and collections of short stories are eligible.”
Source: The Booker Prizes
International DUBLIN Literary Award
The International DUBLIN Literary Award is presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English. The Award is sponsored by Dublin City Council, the municipal government of Dublin, and administered by Dublin City Public Libraries.
Books are nominated for the Award by invited public libraries in cities throughout the world – making the Award unique in its coverage of international fiction. Titles are nominated on the basis of ‘high literary merit’ as determined by the nominating library.
“In rhetoric, a deliberate dissembling for effect or to intensify meaning. In the most general sense, two categories of irony can be identified: verbal irony, in which it is plain that the speaker means the opposite of what he says, and circumstantial, or situational, irony, in which there is a discrepancy between what might reasonably be expected and what actually occurs—between the appearance of a situation and its reality. One of the most common forms of verbal irony is the use of praise when a slur is intended. . . . Tragic irony results from a perception of the intensity of human striving and the indifference of the universe. . . . In dramatic irony, a speaker may utter words that have a hidden meaning intelligible to the audience but of which he himself is unaware. . . .”
Source: Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, 4th ed., ed. Bruce Murphy (N.Y.: HarperCollins, 1996), p. 510.