Family saga

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The family saga is a genre of literature which chronicles the lives and doings of a family or a number of related or interconnected families over a period of time. In novels (or sometimes sequences of novels) with a serious intent, this is often a thematic device used to portray particular historical events, changes of social circumstances, or the ebb and flow of fortunes from a multiple of perspectives.

The word saga meaning saying, comes from the Icelandic language and refers to Old Norse and Icelandic family stories.

The typical family saga follows generations of a family through a period of history in a series of novels. A number of sub-genres of the form exist such as the AGA saga.

Successful writers of popular family sagas include Susan Howatch, R. F. Delderfield and Philippa Carr.

Examples of family sagas of literary note include:

  • The Sagas of Icelanders - the medieval Icelandic family sagas from whence the word 'saga' is derived;

In cinema and television[edit]

See also[edit]