The Zombie Genre in Television & Literature:

One of the first books to expose Western culture to the concept of the voodoo zombie was The Magic Island by W.B. Seabrook in 1929. This is the sensationalized account of a narrator who encounters voodoo cults in Haiti and their resurrected thralls. Time claimed that the book "introduced 'zombi' into U.S. speech". Zombies have a complex literary heritage, with antecedents ranging from Richard Matheson and H. P. Lovecraft to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein drawing on European folklore of the undead. In 1932, Victor Halperin directed White Zombie, a horror film starring Bela Lugosi. Here zombies are depicted as mindless, unthinking henchmen under the spell of an evil magician.

In the 1990s, zombie fiction emerged as a distinct literary subgenre, with the publication of Book of the Dead (1990) and its follow-up Still Dead: Book of the Dead 2 (1992), both edited by horror authors John Skipp and Craig Spector. Featuring Romero-inspired stories from the likes of Stephen King, the Book of the Dead compilations are regarded as influential in the horror genre and perhaps the first true "zombie literature". Horror novelist Stephen King has written about zombies including his short story "Home Delivery" (1990) and his novel Cell (2006) concerning a struggling young artist on a trek from Boston to Maine in hopes of saving his family from a possible worldwide outbreak of zombie-like maniacs.

Max Brooks's novel World War Z (2006) became a New York Times bestseller. Brooks had previously authored The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), a zombie-themed parody of pop-fiction survival guides published in 2003. Brooks has said that zombies are so popular because "Other monsters may threaten individual humans, but the living dead threaten the entire human race.... Zombies are slate wipers." Seth Grahame-Smith's mashup novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) combines the full text of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (1813) with a story about a zombie epidemic within the novel's British Regency period setting. In 2009, Katy Hershbereger of St. Martin's Press stated "In the world of traditional horror, nothing is more popular right now than zombies.... The living dead are here to stay." (from wikipedia)

Vampires used to be all the rage; sparkly or otherwise. The humble zombie rarely got a good bite at literature, until the success of the likes of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. Zombie novels are usually found in the horror section of your local bookshop or library, though they've often lurched their way into other speculative fiction sections, especially YA fiction. Dystopian vistas are beloved of the YA reader and zombies fit in nicely with that genre. My personal favourite: M R Carey's, "The Girl With All The Gifts". It was described as being "Dawn of the Dead" meets Kazuo Ishiguro's "Never Let Me Go".

The Zombie television genre is an offshoot of the movie genre, with the same tropes of (1) zombies arise; (2) civilisation slowly breaks down; (3) the military step in to a greater or lesser degree, and usually fail; (4) all hell breaks loose; (5) the storyline focuses throughout on a small pocket of survivors, who gain and lose members as the show prgresses.

For more information see:
10 Books every zombie fan should read.
20 best zombie novels.
Zombie Apocolypse: A good collection of articles about the zombie tropes, including "disappearing children" and "our zombies are different".