What kind of genre is slice of life?

As the name suggests, slice of life is a genre of fiction that captures the essence of everyday life. Instead of narrating a person’s entire life, these books focus on select events that occur at a particular point in time.

What makes slice of life appealing is though the characters are fictional, the story has no frills, and depicts significant events from people’s lives. Often slice of life stories throw light on a period in history. For instance, Laura Ingall Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” books give a slice-of-life account of the pioneers to the American Midwest.

In theatre, the term “slice of life” refers to a naturalistic representation of real life. The term originated between 1890 and 1895 from the French phrase ‘tranche de vie’, credited to the French playwright Jean Jullien.

Often, slice of life books lack a traditional plot. They might not have any conflict or dramatic occurrences. They progress slowly, but pay attention to even the minutest details of the character’s life at a given time. They are considered to be faithful reproductions of real life.

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “The Anne of Green Gables” series is a classic example. It is a slice of life centred on a young woman aspiring to be a writer.

Manga and animé

Slice of life is also a popular genre in Japanese animé and manga. Unlike in literature, slice of life in manga is unrealistic. Packed with melodrama in typical manga style, it shows too many dramatic events in the characters life over a short span of time.


In literature:

  • “The Fault in Our Stars Looking for Alaska” and “Paper Towns” by John Green
  • “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
  • “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott
  • “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling
  • “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult
  • “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery


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