Literature is the life we live as long as it has to do with human experiences. Literature has three branches namely prose, drama and poetry. Literature is classed under fiction and non-fiction.
Literature fiction is an imaginative or unreal story which deals with invented people, events, location. Literature is mostly associated with novels and stories. In poetry, fiction is fables, parables, fairy tales and folktales. Non – fiction is a story that is real. They include: diary, book, 8
1. Novel – this is the most used fiction. The novel is a long narrative and fictive work which has imaginary character. According to the Dictionary of Literary Terms, the novel is defined as a fictitious prose narrative of considerable length, portraying characters, actions, or scenes representative of real-life in a plot of more or less intricacy.
The event is artistically presented in a continuous piece of writing as if they actually took place. The novel contains at least thirty-five thousand words.
Types of novels are epistolary novel, historical novel, bildungsroman, social novel, psychological novel and political novel.
(a) Epistolary novel can also be known as the novel letter. Just as the name implies, it is a novel that is written as a letter. It has the addresser and the addressee. One example is So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba and Mme Marie Jeanne Riccoboni’sLetters of FanniButlerd.
(b) Historical novel is a novel on past events. They help in preserving history. For example, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun gives a fictional story of the Nigerian Civil War.
(c) Bildungsroman is a novel that focuses on the psychological and moral development of a person from childhood and innocence to the stage of maturity and adulthood. The story begins with the childhood state of the child and ends with a youthful age. An example is Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
(d) Social novel is a novel that x-rays social issues and problems like corruption, unemployment, insurgency, poor governance, strike from the educational sector, war, and rape. Using the characters, it shows the effect of these problems on the people.
Examples are Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus, The Man of the People and There was a Country by Chinua Achebe, Joy of Motherhood and Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta, The Black Boy by Richard Wright.
(e) Political novel is a novel that centres on political issues. Examples are Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo(1904), A Wreath for Udomo by Peter Abrahams, Beautiful Feathers by Cyprian Ekwensi, A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe, The Chief the Honourable Minister.
(f) Allegorical novel is a novel that uses characters and places to signify abstract ideas in human affairs. An example is Animal Farm by George Orwell.
(b) Short Story: Short story is defined according to its length. It focuses on only one incident, setting, location and few character. An example is A Vengeful Creditor by Chinua Achebe.
(c) Novella: A novella is shorter than a novel and longer than a short story. The words might run into ten thousand words to seven thousand words. It has few characters, more than one event, location and setting. An example is The Old man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dicken and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Coarnd.
(d) Fantasy: This is an imaginative story with imaginative characters. In fantasy, there is use of magical powers and supernatural element. Examples are Adventures in the Wonderland by Lewis Carrol and The Palmwine Drunkard by Amos Tutola.
(e) Romance: Romance is an imaginative love story.
(f) Fairy Tales: These are stories that are meant to entertain, educate, teach morals, and praise. It explains natural phenomena and mysteries of life. Fairy tales links mysterious adventures of supernatural spirits manifesting themselves in human form. The supernatural knowledge and the ability to control the affairs of human beings for good and bad is freely ascribed.
(g) Fables: These are long narrative stories. In Fables, the animate and inanimate are feigned and made to speak and act with human interest and passion for moral instruction and amazement. It revolves around supernatural or unusually and the beauty lies alone.
(h) Myth: A story that should be true but cannot be linked to any possible story. It is usually rooted in the belief of a group.