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Literary fiction, mainstream fiction, non-genre fiction, serious fiction, high literature, artistic literature, and sometimes just literature are labels that, in the book trade, refer to market novels that do not fit neatly into an established genre (see genre fiction); or, otherwise, refer to novels that are character-driven rather than plot-driven, examine the human condition, use language in an experimental or poetic fashion, or are simply considered serious art.: 115, 131
Literary fiction is often used as a synonym for literature, in the exclusive sense of writings specifically considered to have considerable artistic merit. While literary fiction is commonly regarded as artistically superior to genre fiction, the two are not mutually exclusive, and major literary figures have employed the genres of science fiction, crime fiction, romance, etc., to create works of literature. Furthermore, the study of genre fiction has developed within academia in recent decades.: 115, 131
Slipstream genre is sometimes located in between the genre and non-genre fictions.