the Desert is a genre hybrid combining the
family saga and 20th century historical fiction.
According to author Bill Smith, "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… 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."
Examples of the family saga genre include:
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
Dune by Frank Herbert
The Covenant by James A. Michner
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
According to the online encyclopedia, Wiki, "An essential element of historical fiction is that it is set in the past and pays attention to the manners, social conditions and other details of the period depicted.”
20th Century Historical Novels include:
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett