family saga

genre of literature

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 multitude 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 subgenres 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 whence the word 'saga' is derived; Dream of the Red Chamber - one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese Literature, it chronicles the rise and decline of the Jia family; Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset; Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh; Buddenbrooks, by Thomas Mann; The Covenant, by James A. Michener; Dune, by Frank Herbert; The Tower and the Hive series by Anne McCaffrey, set in the universe of the "Pegasus" trilogy; the Shannara cycle, by Terry Brooks; A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, by Henry Williamson; The Forsyte Saga, by John Galsworthy; The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende; The Jalna books, by Mazo de la Roche; The Kent Family Chronicles and The Crown Family Saga, by John Jakes; Strangers and Brothers, by C. P. Snow; The Immigrants, by Howard Fast; The Mallens, by Catherine Cookson; One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez The Silmarillion, by J. R. R. Tolkien; Time and the Wind, by Erico Verissimo The Palaeologian Dynasty. The Rise and Fall of Byzantium, by George Leonardos; Roots, by Alex Haley; Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi; The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough; Holes, a novel by Louis Sachar; The Lymond Chronicles and The House of Niccolò, Renaissance-set novel series by Dorothy Dunnett; Fall on Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald; Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides; White Teeth, by Zadie Smith; The Witcher, by Andrzej Sapkowski; Captains and the Kings, by Taylor Cadwell; Evergreen, by Belva Plain; The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold; The Emberverse series, by S. M. Stirling Roma, by Steven Saylor
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genre: family saga


Little House in the Big Woods

American children's novel, 1932, first in the Little House series

author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
illustrator: Helen Sewell, Garth Williams


The Furies

novel by John Jakes

author: John Jakes



novel by V. C. Andrews

author: V. C. Andrews

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