"How dare you call me a realist? My book Searoad has nothing to do with the commercial realism found in all the chain bookstores. I call the book 'Social Reality Enhancement.' Realistic novels are for lazy-minded, semi-educated people whose atrophied imagination allows them to appreciate only the most limited and conventional subject-matter. Realistic fiction, or re-fi as its fans call it, is an outworn genre, written by unimaginative hacks who rely on mere mimesis. If they had any self-respect they'd be writing memoir, but they're too lazy to fact-check. Of course I never read re-fi, but my children keep bringing home these garish realistic novels and talking about them, so I know that it's an incredibly narrow genre, completely centered on one species, incredibly culture-bound, full of wornout clichés and predictable situations: the quest for the father, mother-bashing, obsessive lust, suburban guilt, and so forth. All it's good for is being made into mass-market movies. Given its old-fashioned means and limited subject-matter, realism is quite incapable of describing the complexity of contemporary experience."
- from Ursula K. Le Guin's article "Genre: A Word Only a Frenchman Could Love" in Public Libraries, Vol. 44 Issue 1 (PDF)