INFOGRAPHIC: A Map of the Literary Genres

If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.

According to the fine folks at Pop Chart Labs, there’s a theory that genres exist for the benefit of bookstores and at the expense of readers. Similar to a Las Vegas casino, booksellers manipulate the environment to lure you toward the money makers — I imagine librarians will be the first to object to this theory. So Pop Chart decided to look beyond these commonly accepted distinctions to see how the genres relate and where books belong based on content rather than commerce. “We went in with the idea that we were looking not at commercial distinctions, but instead peering deep into the text of the book, at almost the cellular level,” said Rachel Mansfield of Pop Chart.

The approach created some difficult decisions and surprising results: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe found its home under the “Christian” genre, rather than the expected fantasy. Explore the chart and discover what kind of books you really like. The poster is available for $29.

literary genre map

More Like This

A Young Dancer’s First Glimpse of Her Future

An excerpt from "The Archer" by Shruti Swamy, recommended by Alexandra Chang

Sep 22 - Shruti Swamy

Holding Autumn in My Jewish Heart

How Isaac Babel, Osip Mandelstam, and other authors who share my heritage shaped my experience of grief and hope

Sep 22 - Adam Wilson

Our Situationship Will Never Be Instagram Official

What Andre Acimon, Jasmine Guillory, and Sally Rooney have to teach us about finding freedom in a good undefinable romantic relationship

Sep 21 - Bekah Waalkes
Thank You!