Best Books of NovelsAs the Blochs are on the verge of divorce, a tragedy causes upheaval in the Middle East, and American Jews like the Blochs question what they owe Israel — and what they owe each other. Get it now. Two girls growing up in public housing in London both have a love for dance; only one has the talent to make a career of it. In adulthood, the narrator trades the poverty of London for the poverty of Muslim West Africa — until events send her back to her domineering mother and larger-than-life friend. While one is part of a community with magical powers, the other has accomplished incredible feats of engineering — both will be necessary to save the world. This debut novel alternates between two sides of a family tree, each chapter focusing on a different descendant from two half-sisters in 18th century Ghana.
The 30 Best Fiction Books of 2015
Fiction & Poetry
One hundred and one summers after the guns of August sounded, Louis de Bernieres gave us this poignant novel following the fates of three families through World War I. The answer is to live, drawing from grief and resignation the hard-won freedom to start anew. Get it now. The global financial crisis has not inspired much comedy, but Paul Murray who made this list in for his Irish-boarding-school charmer Skippy Dies finds nihilistic humor in a band of bankers capitalizing on the post-crash chaos. His way in?
Actually, constructing a canon of any kind is a little weird at the moment, when so much of how we measure cultural value is in flux. Its supposed permanence became the subject of more recent battles, back in the 20th century, between those who defended it as the foundation of Western civilization and those who attacked it as exclusive or even racist. But what if you could start a canon from scratch? We thought it might be fun to speculate very prematurely on what a canon of the 21st century might look like right now. We asked each of them to name several books that belong among the most important works of fiction, memoir, poetry, and essays since and tallied the results. The purpose was not to build a fixed library but to take a blurry selfie of a cultural moment. Any project like this is arbitrary, and ours is no exception.
With her impressive attention to detail and atmosphere, she conjures an eerie vision of the 17th century. Get it now. This year, it has been an urgent, essential phenomenon as the nation has struggled with police brutality, racial unrest and manifest inequity. Mortal danger is what black men live in, Coates writes, and their—his—existence is a fearful one. There is no tidy ending for the book, or for reality, but perhaps Coates felt some small piece of closure when he was able to dedicate his National Book Award to Prince Jones, his own friend who was killed by police in Maryland in In her new collection of essays, Robinson lifts the curtain on her own theological thinking.