This Companion focuses on the novel as a global genre with a 2,000-year history. The first section includes an examination of the various genres out of which it emerged (epic, history, romance, the picaresque) and the different ways in which fiction and realism (magical, hyper, and social) were developed in response to specific political, social, and economic forces. The second section focuses on how the novel works, considering how it has played a crucial role in the formation of more abstract social, political, and familial identities. The third section considers what the novel has become and will continue to become in the twenty-first century. It examines the recent interest in graphic novels as well as data, digitization, and a global literary marketplace's role in shaping the future of the novel. This book will be a key resource for students and scholars studying the novel as a genre.