50 notable works of fiction

50 notable works of fiction


 By G. Willow Wilson (Grove)

Wilson’s marvelous first novel takes events similar to those of the Arab Spring, adds a runaway computer virus, an unconventional love story and the odd genie to create an intoxicating, politicized amalgam of science fiction and fantasy. — Elizabeth Hand


By Ivan Doig (Riverhead)

In this subtle and engaging narrative, a 12-year-old boy tries to figure out the adult world, including his saloonkeeper father. Doig, 73, delivers a slow-paced novel filled with the joys of careful and loving observation. — Jon Clinch


By Jess Walter (Harper)

Hopscotching between 1960s Italy and today’s Hollywood, the story sends a young Italian in search of a long-remembered starlet in a plot that’s lively and well constructed — a lemon meringue pie of a novel: crisp and funny on top, soft and gooey inside. — Allegra Goodman


By Chase Novak (Mulholland)

One could think of this horror story about a couple trying to conceive a child as “Rosemary’s Baby’s Parents,” redolent of Roald Dahl at his creepy best, with enough humor to make the mayhem palatable. 
— Dennis Drabelle


By Laura Moriarty (Riverhead)

In Moriarty’s captivating novel, we meet silent-screen star Louise Brooks long before her arrival in Hollywood. Fifteen-year-old Louise has been invited to take summer classes with a legendary New York dance troupe, but she may go only with a proper chaperone. This is a nuanced portrayal of social upheaval during the Jazz Age. — Caroline Preston

DEAR LIFE: Stories

By Alice Munro (Knopf)

With her stunning new collection, Munro demonstrates that there is no writer quite as good at illustrating the foibles of love, the confusions and frustrations of life, or the inner cruelty and treachery that can be revealed in the slightest gestures. — Ron Hansen Continue reading