A genre is a literary kind — and, in fact, the word means just that in French, a "kind" or "type."

The word is used with various degrees of precision. Some, for instance, classify the novel as a genre, and consider the kinds of novels (Bildungsroman, picaresque, Gothic, and so on) "sub-genres." Others consider these specific kinds of novels genres, and consider the term novel a kind of catch-all. The adjective is generic.

From the Guide to Literary Terms by Jack Lynch.
Please send comments to Jack Lynch.
Note: This guide is still in the early stages of development.
Three question marks mean I have to write more on the subject. Bear with me.