The OF Blog: What would a starter list of "100 Great Novels of the 21st century" look like in 2014?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What would a starter list of "100 Great Novels of the 21st century" look like in 2014?

Almost six years ago, I wrote a post about "100 20th Century Fictions:  A Starter List," where I listed 100 books (without any ranking) that I thought deserved such a lofty consideration.  At the time, I did not consider it to be a "definitive" list (such things never really should be anything more than a gauge of a particular person/group's thoughts on a particular day), but rather as something meant to stoke curiosity.  If I were constructing such a list today, there would be several changes made to reflect my reading in the interim (more non-Anglo-American literature and certainly more women writers).

But what about more recent literature?  If I were to construct a list of 50/100 "21st Century Fictions" as a starter list for discussion, what works would you reasonably expect to be listed there?  Would the criteria differ due to a relative lack of influence on other writers/works?  Would certain styles and themes be emphasized more?  I might take a stab at this over the weekend, but I am curious to see which works should be considered for any such sort of list (who knows, it might lead to myself or others to investigating what is listed!). 


Anonymous said...

Some books that could be up for discussion-

Wolf Hall-Hilary Mantel
Winter's Bone/The Death Of Sweet Mister-Daniel Woodrell
The Folding Knife-KJ Parker
Never Let Me Go-Kazou Ishiguru
Cloud Atlas-David Mitchell
Under The Skin-Michael Faber

Nearly Headless Ned.

Bill said...

Can't argue with the ishiguro or Faber!

A few more suggestions:

Samuel Delany, the motion of light on water
Dennis Cooper, ugly man
Brian Evenson, fugue state
Gary Lutz, stories in the worst way
Joy Williams, honored guest
Stanley Crawford, the log of the as the Mrs. Unguentine


Bill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tanya Patrice said...

Who Shall Fear Death
The Help (yes not a typo :-)
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

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