Over the years that I’ve been reading (and writing) genre fiction, I’ve noticed this annoying tendency of literary fiction readers to look down their noses at genre fiction as shallow and simplistic. And, in retaliation, I’ve watched genre readers accuse literary fiction of being dense and obscure and stuffy. And, I’ll be honest, I’ve been in the latter category more often than not, largely because it annoys the hell out of me that some select genre writers (*cough* Margaret Atwood *cough*) get moved over to the bookstores’ literature shelves and get described as “transcending genre.” Bullpucky. Genre writers who explore the human condition with their stories, who create commentary on sociology or psychology or religion or politics, and/or who write stunningly beautiful prose, are just as plentiful as those in literary. Most of them just get overlooked by people who don’t read “that stuff.”
Anyway, Daniel Abraham has a lovely take on the issue right here: A Private Letter from Genre to Literature.