Hybrid genre

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A hybrid genre is a literary genre that blends themes and elements from two or more different genres. Works in hybrid genres are often referred to as cross-genre, multi-genre or mixed genre.

Hybrid genres are a longstanding element in the fictional process. An early example is William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell, with its blend of poetry, prose, and engravings.[1]


In contemporary literature, Dimitris Lyacos's trilogy Poena Damni combines fictional prose with drama and poetry in a multilayered narrative developing through the different characters of the work.[2]

Many contemporary women of color have published cross-genre works, including Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Giannina Braschi, Guadalupe Nettel, and Bhanu Kapil.[3] Giannina Braschi creates linguistic and structural hybrids of comic fantasy and tragic comedy in Spanish, Spanglish, and English prose and poetry.[4][5] Carmen Maria Machado mixes psychological realism and science fiction with both humor and elements of gothic horror.[6]

Fredric Jameson has highlighted the progressive elements in Third World Literature that defies genre expectations such as Xala.[7]

Dean Koontz considers himself a cross-genre writer, not a horror writer: "I write cross-genre books-suspense mixed with love story, with humor, sometimes with two tablespoons of science fiction, sometimes with a pinch of horror, sometimes with a sprinkle of paprika..."[8]

List of hybrid genres[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ M. Singer/W. Walker, Bending Genre (2013) p. 21-2
  2. ^ "Reviews: Z213: Exit by Dimitris Lyacos | Write From Wrong Literary Magazine". Writefromwrongmag.wordpress.com. 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  3. ^ "How I Learned To Love Experimental Fiction As A Brown Girl By Seeking Out Books By Women Of Color". Bustle. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  4. ^ ""What to Read Now: Mixed-Genre Literature," Giannina Braschi". World Literature Today. 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  5. ^ Marting, Diane E. (2010). "New/Nueva York in Giannina Braschi's "Poetic Egg": Fragile Identity, Postmodernism, and Globalization". The Global South. 4 (1): 167–182. doi:10.2979/gso.2010.4.1.167. ISSN 1932-8648.
  6. ^ "13 Latina Fantasy Books For the Sci-Fi Lover in Your Life". Fierce. 2019-01-09. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  7. ^ M. Hardt/K. Weekes eds., The Jameson Reader (2000) p. 334 and p. 368
  8. ^ Koontz, Dean. "Afterword", Lightning, G.P. Putnam's Sons hardcover edition, January 1988. Berkley Publishing Group, mass market edition, May 1989. p. 360
  9. ^ "When crime meets fantasy in fiction". the Guardian. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2022-02-18.

Further reading[edit]

Diane P. Freedman, An Alchemy of Genres (1997)