If you trawl around some online writers' groups like me you may have encountered a strange subterranean war that is going on vis-a-vis the subject of genre. I first encountered it on a forum where someone had brought up the subject of how useful reviews were if the reviewer wasn't familiar with your particular genre. I was startled by the vitriolic response of some members on the subject. It's a publishing invention, they say. A Good Story is a Good Story, full stop. All well and good, but go into any bookshop and you won't find books arranged according to "Good Story" and "Not Good Story". So ignoring the phenomenon seems a bit naive.
According to which source you go with, there are hundreds of different fiction "genres" ranging from Chicklit to Crime and all points in between. And then of course there's Literary Fiction which seems to sweep across everything but take it to a deeper level, whatever that means. (I'm not sure you can get a Literary Chicklit novel - what do you think?) I recently enquired on one forum about what constituted literary fiction and brought down on my head accusations of snobbery. In fact I'd only wondered because while researching agents and publishers I find the term used by them, and I genuinely wondered who decides if a book is "literary" or not.
But the overall impression is that the subject of genre twangs a few writerly nerves out there. I'm not sure why. Do writers just hate to be categorised? Any thoughts, people?